“Miss My Youth”: Rafael Nadal Vows To Play On for as Long as He Enjoys It

Published 05/02/2021, 10:07 AM EDT
Tennis – ATP 500 – Barcelona Open – Real Club de Tennis Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain – April 23, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal celebrates winning his quarter final match against Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie REUTERS/Albert Gea


Rafael Nadal has dropped a broad hint on his future in tennis, saying that he wants to keep going as long as he enjoys competing.

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Speaking to reporters ahead of launching his Madrid Open campaign, the five-time champion said he does regret his lost youth, but there are many special memories that he holds dear to himself.

Rafael Nadal says he holds all his special memories very dear to himself

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Nadal said he is not someone who dwells on his past results, but his many glorious moments will remain forever golden for him.

“I miss my youth. I am not nostalgic, but I keep all the memories of my career,” the current World No. 3 said.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion, who outlasted World No.5 Stefanos Tsitsipas in three sets to lift a record 12th Barcelona title this year, said championship wins do take on a new meaning when they come at his age.

“As the years go by, the triumphs are celebrated in a different way,” Nadal said.

The Spaniard said he still enjoys spilling his guts out in court and going hard at his rivals for titles.

Tennis – ATP 500 – Barcelona Open – Real Club de Tennis Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain – April 25, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal celebrates with the trophy after winning the Barcelona Open against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Albert Gea

Rafael Nadal last won the Madrid title back in 2017

Nadal added that he won’t slow down till as long as he enjoys sweating it out in training and gunning for glory in court.

“I hope I continue to enjoy it as long as possible,” Nadal said.

The Spaniard won his last Madrid title in 2017, beating Dominic Thiem in the final. However, the Austrian World No.4 took down the ‘King of Clay’ in straight sets the following year.

The Spaniard crashed out in the semi-final in 2019, going down in three sets to Tsitsipas.

He made the worst possible start on his favorite surface this year, crashing out in the quarter-final stage at Monte-Carlo.

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An 11-time champion at the principality, Nadal lost to eventual runners-up Andrey Rublev.

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However, he more than redeemed himself by lifting yet another championship title at the Pista Rafa Nadal, putting himself in the race for the year-end ATP Finals in Turin.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

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Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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