"I do not deserve to end my sports career in a press room" - Rafael Nadal on why he worked so hard to make a comeback after 2023 injury
Rafael Nadal recently spoke about his return to tennis, reiterating that he had no inclination to end his career in a press conference.
The Spaniard hosted a press conference at his academy earlier this year, when he said that he would miss the French Open and take a long break from tennis. He said at the time that he did not want his tennis career to end in a press room and that he would try his best to make a return to action.
True to word, the 37-year-old recently announced his return to tennis and has since released a few videos about that. In his most recent one, Nadal said that while there were times when he didn't think continuing his career "made sense," he always felt he deserved to end his career on the court.
"Of course I have thought mny times that it did not make sense to continue playing, that in the end, there have been many years, many things, many hours of work in which I did not see the result. But I still think what I said in the last press conference, that I do not deserve to end my sports career in a press room," the 37-year-old said.
Nadal added that he had the right people around him to get him back in position to compete at the highest level. He also said the desire of his fans to watch him again helped motivate him.
"I would like to finish in a different way, and I have fought and kept the illusion for that to happen. With doubts, with bad moments, very bad or better moments, but I think I have had the right people around me, as I have always had throughout my career: family, team, friends," Nadal said.
"I think everyone has helped me decisively to be where I am today, which is with the option of returning to compete, and I think that also the desire of people who want to watch me play again has also an important impact on my day to day," he added.
Rafael Nadal will start his 2024 season at the Brisbane International, where he has been handed a wildcard. In 2023 he played only four matches, registering a 1-3 win/loss record.
Rafael Nadal enters Australian Open 2024 using Protected Ranking
After Brisbane, Rafael Nadal is set to compete at the 2024 A3ustralian Open, entering the Grand Slam tournament by using a Protected Ranking.
The World No. 664 has won the tournament twice so far in his career. His first triumph came in 2009, when he beat Roger Federer in the final. His second title at the Melbourne Major came in 2022, when he triumphed over Daniil Medvedev in a marathon five-setter in the title clash.
The Spaniard also reached four other Australian Open finals - in 2012, 2014, 2017 and 2019. Overall, he has won 77 out of 93 matches at the Asia-Pacific Major.