Rafael Nadal has addressed his future in the sport having decided to step back from competition after injury – as he approaches his 37th birthday following 22 years as a professional
Rafael Nadal of Spain removes his bandana after winning his Men’s Singles second round match against Michael Mmoh of the United States during day four of the 2021 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on February 11, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia.
Rafael Nadal has detailed his retirement intentions (Image: Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal has addressed his future in the sport having decided to step back from competition after injury.
The Spanish icon, who has won 22 Grand Slam tournaments and shares the outright record in the men’s game with Novak Djokovic, won’t play beyond 2024.
Nadal, 36, said: “I just want to give myself the opportunity to compete again for what will be my last year. I hope that 2024 is not just a year of simple appearances, but a year where I can win the tournaments. It will be difficult, but we have to hope for it.”
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Speaking at a press conference at the Rafa Nadal Academy, he added: “It is a process of acceptance and honesty towards oneself.
“Decisions like these are not dramatic, these are things that happen. Everything has an end, for all those who have excelled in their areas of life. And then I will start a new path in life.
“There are other things that allow me to enjoy life. It has been difficult years and it is not right to always ask your own body to do more.
Spain’s Rafael Nadal will call time on his career after the 2024 season
Spain’s Rafael Nadal will call time on his career after the 2024 season (Image: Getty Images)
“The best thing to do now is to take a break and see if the body recovers in the coming months.”
Nadal, who has pocketed more than £107million from the sport, told fans his plan while explaining that he will not compete for at least another few months.