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Former World No 1 Warns Rafael Nadal Retirement Could Be Near

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Ex-doubles world No 1 Paul McNamee suggests that Rafael Nadal’s continuation in tennis hinges on his performance at the 2024 French Open.

McNamee, who has secured five major titles in men’s and mixed doubles, opines that as long as Nadal sees a possibility to match Novak Djokovic’s tally of Grand Slam victories, he will persist in the sport.

The celebrated Spanish player, aged 37, has clinched 22 Grand Slam titles, just shy of Djokovic’s leading 24. Nadal’s last major victory was at the 2022 French Open, marking his 14th win at the event.

McNamee shared his thoughts on X, suggesting Nadal’s motivation to continue competes with the aim of reaching Djokovic’s record. He mentioned that failure to win at Roland Garros might signal the end of Nadal’s illustrious career.

“Let’s call it as it is. Rafa continues while he believes he can still win more Roland Garros’s, and why not? If he does, he’ll keep playing,” the Australian wrote.

“For me he won’t quit while he has a chance to equal Djokovic on 24. If he doesn’t win RG24, the end of a magnificent career becomes imminent.”

Additionally, the former tennis player believes that Wimbledon and the Olympics might still be within Nadal’s sights, considering their schedule close to the French Open.

Nadal’s last match was in January against Jordan Thompson in Brisbane, where he picked up a new hip injury. Recently, he played against Carlos Alcaraz in a Las Vegas exhibition match for The Netflix Slam.

Returning to competition in Brisbane after nearly a year off due to a muscle injury sustained at the 2023 Australian Open, which required surgery in June, Nadal is gradually making his way back into the sport.

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