For someone who has spent over 15 years at the top of his sport, questions about retirement are not unusual. That's especially true for tennis legend Rafael Nadal, who has had numerous injuries in his career; doubts about his future in tennis have been expressed in the media since the Spaniard was in his 20s.
But now that Rafael Nadal is 34, the sun is expected to finally set upon one of the greatest careers ever sooner rather than later. And like his longtime rival and friend Roger Federer, Nadal has also accepted that as a fact; he has often called the ongoing few years as the "final phase" of his career.
In a recent interview with the magazine 'GQ', Nadal once again reiterated that he wasn't afraid to stop playing tennis and live a retired life. The Spaniard also spoke in detail about the entire period of confinement that he went through during the lockdown in Europe.
Rafael Nadal waxes philosophical about retirement
Rafael Nadal is known to look at life from a very philosophical point of view. The 19-time Slam champion has often said that tennis results do no affect his emotions outside the court, and that he has learnt to treat victory and defeat the same way.
The Spaniard already feels very privileged to have had the opportunity of following his dream, and is thankful for everything the sport has given him. During the interview, when asked about hanging up his racquet for good, Nadal once again gave a very insightful take on life.
"Everything has a beginning and everything has an end, and I am not one of those people who are afraid of the end," Nadal said. "I think I feel respect for it, yes, but no fear. When the end comes it will be time to accept it and continue looking for motivations in life."
The first sentence of Nadal's answer is something you'd expect from a character in the TV show 'Dark'. You almost wonder if the Spaniard is a fan of the highly acclaimed Netflix series.
Rafael Nadal also said that tennis has been the last thing on his mind over the past few months, as the world continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic.
There have been enough misfortunes to think about: Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal maintained what he has been saying for a while now about the COVID-19 enforced break: that sport takes a backseat in such unforeseen circumstances. The Spaniard believes there are much bigger things to worry about right now than tennis, but he hopes to be in competitive shape for his return to action.
"During all these months I have thought very little about tennis," Nadal said. "I think there have been much more important things and enough misfortunes to think about something that I think is still secondary."
Rafael Nadal has already withdrawn from the US Open, which is scheduled to begin next week. And while most reports suggest he will play the European clay season, the 12-time French Open champion didn't promise anything and refused to put a date on his return.
"I reserve my verdict right now, because I am waiting for how things evolve," Nadal added. "When the time comes, I will make a decision and I will do it after talking with my family and my team, together we will make the decision that we think is best for us more."Published 25 Aug 2020, 20:24 IST