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Rafael Nadal opens up on his own retirement plans as Andy Murray confirms exit


Nadal discussed his own retirement plans (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)

Rafael Nadal was saddened by the news that one of his great rivals is planning his retirement from tennis and offered some insight into when he will hang up his racquet.

The Spanish No. 1 and 17-time Grand Slam champion believes Andy Murray has made the correct decision to throw in the towel for the sake of his mental health, as he continues to struggle with a hip injury.

Murray emotionally confessed he felt severe pain in the troublesome area even when putting on his socks and shoes and although Nadal believes he will be a great loss to the sport, he is convinced the 31-year-old will have made the right call.

‘Yeah, of course is very bad news,’ Nadal said in his pre-tournament press conference.

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‘But being honest, when somebody like him, that he achieved almost everything in his tennis career, is suffering like he’s doing for such a long time already, and you feel that you are not competitive for the thing that really makes you wake up every morning and go on court with the passion to practice, to improve, and with a goal, then is so difficult, no?

‘I can’t say that because I didn’t had that experience, but in some way I can speak about similarities that I had in my career, no? When you are going on court every day without the clear goal because you cannot move well, you have pain, then is a moment to take a decision.

‘Probably he is fighting for keep going since a long time. If he doesn’t feel that the thing can go better, probably he does the right thing for his mental health.

‘Will be a very important lose for us, for the world of tennis, for the tour, for the fans, even for the rivals that he have been part of a great rivalry between the best players for a long time, and a great competitor.

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‘But that’s life. Seems like he had not very long career because today players are playing that long. But he’s 31. Ten years ago, if he retired at 31, we will say he had a great and very long career. That’s the real thing.

‘So all the best for him. We will miss him. But today is him. Tomorrow another one. We are not 20 any more. Our generation, everyone is more than 30s. These kind of things happens. That’s it.’

As the 32-year-old alluded to, this golden generation of men’s tennis is not getting any younger and while Nadal insists he has not reached the point when he seriously considered retiring, he is aware that his body will not allow him to compete at the highest level forever.

‘I didn’t arrive to that point. I am a positive guy,’ he added on his own injury struggles in the past. ‘I always had the feeling that we’ll fix it. But, of course, there is periods of time that you don’t see the light. Is tough.

Nadal believes Murray will be a great loss (Picture: FP/Getty Images)

‘My only goal is always to have been keep going. Even if lot of days you go on court when you have troubles or you go to the gym without having a real goal or without knowing why I am going there, because I don’t see a benefit on this today, you keep going.

‘That’s the only way that you can keep having confidence and hope for a good comeback in terms of health. That’s it.

‘I have my experience. I know sometimes is hard mentally. Is tough when you have one thing, then another thing.

‘But I know that tennis is not forever. I want to do it as long as I can and give myself the best possibilities to fight for the things really I am passionate about, and to keep doing the things that I really enjoy doing. Playing tennis is one of the things, compete in this sport is one of the things that I enjoy more doing.

‘When arrive the day that I cannot hold it again will be the day to go and do another things.’

For the time being, however, Nadal’s body is working just fine and he says he’s ‘feeling good’ ahead of his first-round Australian Open match against James Duckworth.





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