“There are many chances that it will be my last year” – Nadal uncertain of future ahead of comeback
The Spaniard recently revealed that he would be returning from injury at the Brisbane International in January, but has been keen to stress that many uncertainties remain
Rafael Nadal has re-emphasised the point that 2024 may well be the last year of his career.
The 22-time Grand Slam champion confirmed that he would be returning to action in Australia with the start of the new season, news that was greeted with delight from fans of his and the tennis community in general.
Amid the cacophony of jubilant outpourings on social media and beyond, however, the Spaniard was keen to reiterate that just what he can commit to in 2024 remains a complete unknown. Because of this, Nadal will approach each tournament he plays in as if it will be his last time.
“It is a reality, there are many chances that it will be my last year without any doubt,” Rafa said in the final of his social media video posts outlining the details of his comeback.
“There are chances that it may only be half a year, there are possibilities it may be a full year, that we may not be able to reach all that,” he continued.
“These are things right now I do not have the capacity to be able to answer, this is the truth.
“I am only in conditions to say that I return to compete, that I continue having in my head that the normal thing, or that there are many possibilities that it is my last year, and I am going to enjoy the tournaments in that way.”
a return shrouded in uncertainty, but ultimately one to celebrate
While this has poured cold water on some of the speculation that he may yet play beyond 2024, Nadal once again emphasised that he simply cannot commit to a date for when he will walk away from the sport that he has given so much of himself to.
“I do not want to announce it because in the end I do not know what can happen and I have to give myself the opportunity not to say one thing and then I can be a slave of what I have said,” he explained.
“I think it is going to be like that, but I can’t be 100% sure because in the end I have worked a lot to come back to compete and if suddenly things and my physique allows me to continue and enjoy what I do – why am I going to set a deadline? I think it makes no sense.”
Whatever the rest of Nadal’s career has in store for him, the 14-time Roland-Garros champion has already cemented himself in history as one of the greatest to have ever played the game.
Every fan in every corner of this global sport will lose something when the great Spaniard retires.
It is in this sense that, regardless of what he is able to commit to in 2024, Nadal’s return – for perhaps the very last time – is news that the entire tennis community should celebrate.