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Nadal nears the end of a brilliant career

PARIS, FRANCE – JUNE 09: Rafael Nadal of Spain bites the winners trophy after victory following the mens singles final against Dominic Thiem of Austria during Day fifteen of the 2019 French Open at Roland Garros on June 09, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

LEGENDARY tennis star Rafael Nadal has hinted that his retirement may be earlier than expected, certainly for his vast following, who have always suspected he would carry on forever.

Rafa, from Mallorca, and now 33, who marries his high-school sweetheart Meri Perelló tomorrow (Saturday), has announced that he is in “the final phase” of his tennis career, although intends to remain in the world of tennis for as long as he can.

His eponymous sports academy in Manacor, home of his and fiancée Meri, where some of the best young tennis players in Spain are currently training, is, said Rafa: “My great project for the future, and for this reason, I want to get more involved in it.”

He added: “I’m in love with the sport and want to stay connected to it when I retire. I’m now in the final phase…it’s sad, but what can you do?”

Rafa, who runs a Manacor charitable foundation, of which his mother is chair and his fiancée is project manager, is now a geriatric in tennis terms. Yet he is still a year younger than the late Andrés Gimeno was when he won the French Open in Roland Garros in 1972.

Nadal has won that prestigious title 12 times since 2005.But his long-standing injuries are proving career-limiting. They started with a knee problem, which led to him crashing out of Wimbledon in 2012 in the first round, and forced him to scratch from the London 2012 Olympics.

And though he went on to win gold in the doubles in Rio 2016, Nadal’s current ailment is a wrist strain, which has compelled him to pick and choose his tournaments carefully.

“It’s been a good year.,” admitted Nadal. “Last year was, too, but I had to scratch from several tournaments because of physical problems. Now, from Barcelona to the present, I’ve been able to play the competitions I’ve wanted to, and hope to be able to follow my planned schedule.”

For the moment, though, Rafa has pulled out of the Shanghai Masters to focus on being in top form for the London Masters, and he is expected to compete in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

 

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Posted by on Oct 17 2019. Filed under Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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