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'I want to continue' - Rafael Nadal insists he will keep playing as long as his body allows him

Published at :May 10, 2024 at 7:40 AM
Modified at :May 10, 2024 at 7:41 AM
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(Courtesy : X/@RafaelNadal)

Shashank Tripathi

Rafael Nadal has missed 16 Grand Slams due to injuries.

Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal has stated that he’s focusing on the Italian Open 2024 because he wants to keep playing till his body allows it.

The former World No. 1 and 22-time Grand Slam champion was asked about his retirement plans during a press conference before his first match at the Italian Open 2024. Replying to the question, Nadal stated that he loves the games and tennis keeps him happy.

He said, “I want to enjoy every day. I enjoy playing tennis, always depending on my body to see how long I can. I’m happy with what I’m doing now. When I talk about retirement, it’s not because I’m not happy playing tennis or because I don’t feel competitive. It’s not the case.

However, he revealed that if he stopped playing tennis, his health would be the main reason. Rafael Nadal is famous for his highly physical game and his playing style has made him a 22-time Grand Slam champion. However, the same playing style had given the Spaniard numerous injuries.

ALSO READ: Rafael Nadal’s projected path to Italian Open 2024 final

The 14-time Roland Garros champion added, “It’s about the fact that my body hasn’t been able to play for weeks in a row, to train and enjoy those workouts. Then there comes a time when it doesn’t make sense. If you can’t do things properly every day, and can’t endure the pain and injuries, then it’s practically impossible to succeed or keep fighting for the things that motivate you.

Rafael Nadal has missed 16 Grand Slams in his professional career due to injuries. Additionally, he has also been forced to retire at the nine Grand Slams after sustaining an injury mid-tournament. Earlier this year, the Spaniard was expected to make a comeback at the 2024 Australian Open.

However, his hip injury flared at the Adelaide International and he had to withdraw from the competition. Nadal later made his return to the tour with the ATP 500 Barcelona Open, where he lost against Australia’s Alex de Minaur in the second round.

However, he gave a much-improved performance at the Madrid Open, where he managed to reach the round of 16 with the help of wins over Darwin Blanch, Alex de Minaur and Pedro Cachin. Thus, the 22-time Grand Slam champion is currently looking forward to performing better at the Italian Open.

He concluded, “Now it’s my third week on the Tour, so it’s a good thing, although the results are not what they were. I’m improving my feelings, my level. We’ll see, I want to continue.

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