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Toni Nadal on Rafa’s future: “I think as long as he feels he has a chance of winning, he will continue”
Only when his nephew no longer feels like he is competitive will he consider retirement, Toni says
Rafael Nadal has dropped a few hints this year that his career may be coming to an end, although having won two Grand Slams in 2022 to move ahead at the top of the all-time list, his game is clearly still there.
Injuries and age – he turned 36 in June – mean the end is getting closer but his uncle and long-time coach, Toni Nadal, believes there is plenty of life in his nephew yet.
“I’m not a fortune teller, I don’t know, I think that as long as he feels he has a chance of winning, he will continue,” Toni told AS.
“When he sees that he has no options, if he goes to a tournament and has no chance of winning, I don’t think he will play. In the end, he has won too much to retire badly.”
Toni draws comparison with Federer
Nadal is shortly due to become a father for the firs time, which may complicate his future. But Toni drew comparison with the last few years of the career of Roger Federer, who retired at the Laver Cup last month.
“Federer went five years without winning a Grand Slam (between 2012 and 2017), but he was there, he made semi-finals, finals?” he said. “He knew he could win. In fact, after five years he won three more because he felt he had a chance. That’s what marks the way.
“How much time Rafa has left? I don’t know, it will clearly depend on the opponents, on his body.”