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Nadal relaxed about retirement, whenever it comes: “I’m quite prepared for my next life outside tennis”

The 36-year-old shows no sign of wanting to retire just yet, but is not worried about what will happen when he does

Rafael Nadal claps crowd AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Transitioning from life as a sporting champion to “normal life” after retirement is something many people struggle with, finding it difficult to replace the high-adrenalin moments that have characterised their careers.

You get the feeling that Rafael Nadal, for all his brilliance and achievements, will find a way to make a smooth change.

Newly married and with his young son, Nadal’s time will be filled when he eventually decides to hang up his racquets, while his academy in Mallorca will also be high on the agenda. There’s no sign when that day will be, yet, but the 36-year-old seems content, whenever it happens.

“My time will come when it has to come,” he told reporters in Buenos Aires at the weekend. “I’m quite prepared for my next life outside tennis.

“I don’t think it’s going to be a problem for me beyond what will be an adaptation to the changes. My life has things equally or more important than tennis.”

For all the toil on his body and the numerous injuries he has suffered from throughout his career, Nadal goes into 2023 as the world No 2, having won two Grand Slam titles in 2022 to take his overall tally to a record 22.

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