“You Can’t Predict”: Rafael Nadal Squashes Retirement Rumors

Published 04/19/2021, 8:30 AM EDT
PARIS, FRANCE – OCTOBER 11: Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates after winning a point during his Men’s Singles Final against Novak Djokovic of Serbia on day fifteen of the 2020 French Open at Roland Garros on October 11, 2020 in Paris, France. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)


Traditionally tennis careers would rarely stretch beyond the age of 35. Legends such as Pete Sampras, Mats Wilander, Boris Becker retired way before their 35th birthday. But the ‘big 3’ of tennis, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic, have stretched their careers well into their 30s and have stayed competitive as well. Nadal will soon turn 35, giving rise to murmurs of his potential retirement.

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In a recent interview, Nadal reiterated his commitment to tennis. The Spaniard is still enjoying the game and wants to continue for the next couple of years.

“For the moment, I’m happy what I’m doing. I’m enjoying it and I hope to have the chance to keep around the tournaments for the next couple of years.”

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Rafael Nadal in action during his second round match against Argentina’s Federico Delbonis REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Rafael Nadal still enjoying tennis

Nadal is still racking up title victories and Grand Slam titles despite him turning towards the wrong side of the 30s. As always, though, he is self-aware and knows that the retirement deadline will eventually come.

“Of course, I will not be playing until the age of 45, no? I am always trying to do things as best as possible to play as long as possible. As everybody knows, of course it’s going to arrive one day that you cannot keep going.”

Tennis players of the 21st century have commitments other than tennis. Endorsement deals and sponsors now stretch the career of players. Nadal also has commitments that will go beyond his 40th birthday.

“I mean, I don’t think that’s… you can’t predict what’s going on in the future. I have all my partnerships with my brands, some of them much longer than that.”

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Nadal’s 2021 season has started off on a gloomy note. He is yet to win a title and has failed to reach the semifinals of any tournaments. He now headlines the draw in his beloved Barcelona Open 2021, where he has previously won 11 titles.

Given the injury troubles and dip in form, is Nadal falling behind other players? The clay swing of the season should be a good indicator of this.

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Bhavishya Mittal

982 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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