SPORTS personalities across Spain have raised objections after rumours Real Madrid's (pictured) could be the country's flag-bearer at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Weight-lifter , who has a gold, a silver and a...
Rafa Nadal talks of retirement: “I'm in the final phase of my career”
By thinkSPAIN Team Thu, Oct 10, 2019
TENNIS ace Rafa Nadal has hinted that his retirement from the sport may be earlier than expected – at least, for fans who have always suspected he would carry on forever.
Now aged 33, the Mallorca-born star has announced – nine days before his planned wedding to high-school sweetheart Meri Perelló – that he is 'in the final phase' of his career on the court, although intends to stay in the world of tennis as far as he can afterwards.
His eponymous sports academy in his and Meri's home town of Manacor, where some of the best young tennis players in Spain are currently training, is Rafa's 'great project for the future'.
“For this reason, I want to get more involved in it,” Nadal reveals.
“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 charitable foundation in Manacor of which his mother is chair and his fiancée is project manager, is now a geriatric in tennis terms, although still a year younger than the late Andrés Gimeno was when he won the French Open in Roland Garros in 1972 – a title Nadal himself has scooped up 12 times since 2005.
But his injuries are proving career-limiting: starting with a knee problem which saw him crash out of Wimbledon in 2012 in the first round and forced him to scratch from the London 2012 Olympics – although he went on to win the gold in the doubles in Rio 2016 – Rafael 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. Last year was, too, but I had to scratch from several tournaments because of physical problems,” Nadal admits.
“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, Rafa has pulled out of the Shanghai Masters in order to focus on being in top form for the London Masters, and it is expected he will compete in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
More Sport content
A STAR-STUDDED guest list for tennis ace Rafa Nadal's wedding tomorrow has been revealed – a ceremony at the Sa Fortalesa estate in northern Mallorca which will have watertight security to prevent fans or the from...
THE YOUNGEST-EVER rider to net a MotoGP world championship in his rookie year, and now just one short of his arch-rival Valentino Rossi's trophy count, motorsport child prodigy Marc Márquez is probably still...
SPAIN'S oldest-ever Roland Garros champion Andrés Gimeno has died at the age of 82 after battling cancer for many years. The Barcelona-born star was 34 when he won the French Open, setting a world age record which...