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‘Old Enough to Take My Decisions’- 36-Year-Old Rafael Nadal’s Champion Spirit in Full Display After a Painful Loss at Australian Open 2023

Published 01/18/2023, 7:15 AM EST

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The defending champion of the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal, is out of the tournament. He suffered a shock defeat against American tennis star Mackenzie McDonald in the second round. While there were many who expected Nadal to go all the way this time, an early defeat came as a shocker. After this, the most important question on everyone’s mind is Nadal’s retirement.

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Here’s what the 36-year-old said about the same after the disappointing loss.

Rafael Nadal on retiring midway through the match


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The ones who have followed Nadal for long know about his fighting spirit. The 36-year-old has a habit of playing through pain even when the better option would have been to retire. He did it in the Wimbledon 2022 quarterfinal against Taylor Fritz and did it again today. However, the result was contrasting this time.

Nadal carried on fighting even after multiple calls from his box to retire from the match. However, Nadal fought through his pain and kept playing till the match was done and dusted. Later, interacting with the media during the post match press conference, the 22-time Grand Slam champion revealed what was going on in his mind.


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I thought about retiring, I was not able to hit the backhand or run at all, but I wanted to finish the match (…) I didn’t ask my team if I should retire or not, I’m old enough to take my decisions. Didn’t want to retire as the defending champion. Tried my best till the end,” Nadal said.

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Fans of the Spanish tennis legend will hope that the champion player regains his full fitness and plays tennis again in full fitness before planning his retirement from the sport.

Nadal’s wife got emotional watching her husband in pain


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Rafael Nadal’s wife Maria was present in the player’s box to watch his second-round match in the Australian Open. The Spaniard suffered another injury blow and also went off for a medical break. While many would have thought that he might give a walkover, the 36-year-old continued fighting.

via Reuters

However, Nadal was visibly in a lot of pain and Maria was unable to see her husband battling on court in such pain and broke into tears. Nadal’s sister Maribel was seen consoling her.


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WATCH THIS STORY – Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Simona Halep produce unreal moments at Miami Open

With Nadal’s 2023 campaign getting the worst possible start, do you think the Spaniard can add to his tally of 22 Grand Slam titles in 2023? Let us know in the comments.

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Written by:

Gaurav Verma


One take at a time

Gaurav Verma is a Tennis Author at EssentiallySports. He has post graduate diploma in management from IILM Graduate School of Management and a BBA degree from Bangalore University. He has 1-year of experience in the banking sector.
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Edited by:

Tony Thomas