Rafael Nadal retirement: Spaniard opens up about whether 2024 will be his final year on ATP tour
Rafael Nadal recently reiterated the possibility of 2024 being his final year as an ATP professional. He didn't rule out hanging up his racquets at the end of next season.
The Spaniard will kickstart his year at the Brisbane International, following which he is scheduled to make an appearance at the Australian Open. His plans beyond that are unclear at the moment, and Nadal had stated a few months ago that he could potentially retire after having one final hurrah in 2024.
In a new video he posted on social media, the 22-time Grand Slam champion touched on the possibility of his retirement once again. He even said there is a chance he could retire midway through the season if his body does not co-operate.
He made it clear, however, that these are all just possibilities and that he has no way of knowing for certain what the future has in store for his career. For now, Nadal is simply happy to experience the feeling of playing tennis once again at the highest level.
"It is a reality, there are many chances that it will be my last year without any doubt. There are chances that it may only be half a year, there are possibilities it may be a full year, that we may not be able to reach all that.. these are things right now I do not have the capacity to be able to answer, this is the truth," Rafael Nadal said.
"I am only in conditions to say that I return to compete, that I continue having in my head that the normal thing, or that there are many possibilities that it is my last year, and I am going to enjoy the tournaments in that way," he added.
The 37-year-old also said he did not want to make an official announcement as it would end up making him a slave to his own words. Instead, he wants to take things one day at a time, perhaps even continue playing after next season if his body allows him to do so.
"I do not want to announce it because in the end I do not know what can happen and I have to give myself the opportunity not to say one thing and then I can be a slave of what I have said," Rafael Nadal said.
"I think it is going to be like that, but I can't be 100% sure because in the end I have worked a lot to come back to compete and if suddenly things and my physique allows me to continue and enjoy what I do.. why am I going to set a deadline? I think it makes no sense," he added.
Rafael Nadal: "I hope to feel again all those nerves, those fears, those doubts"
In an earlier video, Rafael Nadal had stated that he was looking forward to enjoying himself on the court again after nearly 12 months, starting with the Brisbane International. At the 250 event, Nadal will be joined by the likes of Holger Rune, Ben Shelton, Grigor Dimitrov, and Andy Murray.
The former World No. 1 is excited about feeling the familiar emotions of nerves, fear and doubt once again as well; he sees them as positive signs rather than worries.
"I trust and hope that things go well and that it gives me the opportunity to enjoy myself on the court. It’s been a long time, so I hope first of all to again feel those nerves, that illusion, those fears, those doubts," Nadal said.