Facebook Social Button Twitter Social Button Follow Us on InstagramYouTube Social Button
NewsScoresRankingsLucky Letcord PodcastShopPro GearPickleballGear Sale

By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Wednesday September 20, 2023


In his second interview in as many days, Nadal gives more details on his current status - and dream for his comeback.

Photo Source: Getty

By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Wednesday September 19, 2023

A day after his news-making video with Movistar Plus+, Rafael Nadal has given an interview to Spanish website, and explained his vision of the next steps for his career.

Tennis Express

The 37-year-old 22-time major champion says he is still motivated to find ways to improve his tennis, and to build a game that is adaptable and can thrive despite his age.

“If I have the ability to train well in full conditions, for me improving is a daily motivation,” he said in Spanish. “It doesn't matter how old you are. Although you know that you lose many other things along the way, which is logical due to obvious age issues, you have to add others.

“For me, improving is wanting to know what I need to try to be competitive and try to enhance those things that we believe can help me be competitive. Also apply logic, appropriate decisions about my game, as long as my physical condition allows it, to try to evolve.”

2024 last year? Maybe, maybe not?

The only thing that we know about Nadal’s potential retirement date at the moment is that… it’s impossible to know. The Spaniard says he needs time to figure out how his body takes to his new regimen, and how he adapts to training first. Then he will see about competing on the tour, and make a more informed decision on what comes next – and when.

It’s not a lot to go on, but it’s all we have. And 2024 as a target retirement date is still in the mix. Nadal mentions it in every interview he gives, but also holds out hope that he may be able to reach a level of competitive, pain-free tennis that would allow him to build form and continue his career beyond 2024. It’s a possibility. Maybe it doesn’t feel likely, given all that Nadal has been through, but the fact that he has been off tour for so long might end up being good for his body, letting it decompress and regenerate in ways that he hasn’t experienced before.

Nadal: Betting on 2024 as Last Year (If he had to bet)

That said, he remains convinced in his mind that 2024 will likely be his last season.

“I think it's going to be my last year. I'm pretty convinced,” he said. “Although, at the same time, at this point, at the end of September, I don't know. What can happen? If I feel competitive and enjoy what I do, why would I limit myself? I can't say 100 percent. What do I think my last year is going to be? I'm saying it, I think it's going to be my last year.

So there is hope for more than a single season, but Nadal can’t fight the notion that there may not be more. “If I had to bet, I'd say it's my last year,” he says.

When is not as important as the if. If Nadal can find his good health and play the level he enjoys and fight for victories and titles, the end will be sweet, no matter the date.

“This is my current dream, to go out on a tennis court and feel like I can play competitively,” he said. “This is the first objective. Afterwards you never know. In the end, I am aware. If I'm only there for that, to go out on a court and feel that I'm only going out to be minimally competitive, to not make a mess and such, then I'm not going to play much. I'm going to be in the few tournaments I feel like saying goodbye to.

"Another thing is that I feel strong and competitive to aspire to things that really excite me, then the approach will be different. But I can't know this right now.”


Latest News