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“It will most likely be the last time I play in Mexico” – Nadal says he will not defend Acapulco title

Nadal has won the Acapulco title four times in his career

Rafael Nadal exhibition match in Mexico in November 2022 Rafael Nadal exhibition match in Mexico in November 2022 Image Credit: AI/ Reuters/ Panoramic

On Friday, Rafael Nadal played an exhibition match against Casper Ruud in front of a packed Plaza de Toros crowd in Mexico. But the 22-time Grand Slam champion, one of the most beloved sports figures across the globe, could very well not return to the country to compete again as he told the press he will not defend his Acapulco title in 2023.

Nadal won first ATP 500 title in Mexico in 2005 and won the Acapulco title for the fourth time this year, beating Cameron Norrie in the final. But when speaking to the media, Nadal said that Acapulco is not on his schedule for 2023.

“It will most likely be the last time I play in Mexico, Acapulco 2023 is not on my calendar and the 2024 season seems far away,” the world No 2 said as quoted by Eurosport. “Now is the time to enjoy this moment to the fullest and play in an emblematic setting, with many people and in a country where I have always felt loved.”

“I continue to have goals that excite me at a professional level. I’m going to try to achieve them until my body or mind says enough”

Rafael Nadal

“It is an unforgettable feeling to live in such an environment in Mexico, I can only say thank you for the unconditional support, it is a country that has treated me like another Mexican. It’s hard for me to say goodbye to you,” Nadal continued.

Despite that message, Nadal said he continues to enjoy the day-to-day grind and remains motivated to continue competing at the highest level.

“For me the main thing right now is to be able to get to the important tournaments in full physical condition,” he said. “I continue to enjoy day-by-day and I continue to have goals that excite me at a professional level. I’m going to try to achieve them until my body or mind says enough. At the moment, that hasn’t happened, so I want to continue. I am happy doing what I do, I love competing on the big stages and the love of the people encouraged me to continue.”

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