‘Not Playing at All for Money’: Rafael Nadal Reveals Intentions Going Forward After Mubadala Loss

Published 12/19/2021, 3:29 PM EST
WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 1: Rafael Nadal (ESP) speaks with press on Media Day ahead of the 2021 Citi Open at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center on August 1, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mike Lawrence/ISI Photos/Getty Images)


As an athlete gets older and has been marred with injuries every now and then, it’s always difficult to expect a successful comeback. But, Rafael Nadal has more often than not defied odds and continued to be victorious at the highest level despite having to deal with consistent injuries throughout his career.

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The Spaniard, who made a comeback after a few months gap due to a foot injury, wasn’t successful in his short stint at the Mubadala World Tennis Championships. Nadal lost both of his exhibition matches to Andy Murray and Denis Shapovalov.

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Rafael Nadal talks about his performance in Mubadala World Tennis Championships

Talking about his experience in Abu Dhabi, Nadal was optimistic over both his performances and believes that he will be competitive going forward.

If I keep playing after the career that I am having, it’s because that I still believe that I will be competitive enough to give myself chances to compete for the thing that I’ve been competing in the last 15 days. I’m not playing at all for money, or just for fun”. 

The 20-time Grand Slam champion laid down his focus on enjoying the journey and tries to achieve the goals he set for himself.

I’m playing to keep achieving goals or at-least to enjoy the process to try to achieve my goals. Main thing is just be healthy enough to do the thing that I need to do. Well, even in not perfect conditions, I was able to show some competitive level against two very good players. That’s the positive thing”. 

Aug 5, 2021; Washington, DC, USA; Rafael Nadal of Spain hits a forehand against Lloyd Harris of South Africa (not pictured) during the Citi Open at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Nadal remains unsure over his Australian Open 2022 participation

Ahead of the Australian Open next year, Nadal signed up to play an ATP 250 tournament in Melbourne. At the moment, the Spaniard has neither confirmed nor denied his participation at the ‘happy slam’.

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Nadal enjoyed a great run on the European clay-court swing this year by winning the titles at Barcelona and Rome. His quest to successfully defend his Roland Garros title was thrashed by Djokovic in the semis.

Post the French Open debacle, Nadal opted out of Wimbledon and made a comeback for the US hard-court summer. The Spaniard made his debut at the Citi Open, where he was defeated in the pre-quarters by South African player, Lloyd Harris.

Aug 5, 2021; Washington, DC, USA; Rafael Nadal of Spain hits a backhand against Lloyd Harris of South Africa (not pictured) during the Citi Open at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

From Nadal’s comments, the 2022 ATP season might turn out to be a challenging one for him as he intends to be fully fit to win the tournaments on red dirt.

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Sagar Ashtakoula

723 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Sagar has completed his graduation in Electronics and Communication Engineering.

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