Few imagined that Rafael Nadal would have had such a long career at the highest levels. His expensive game, coupled with numerous physical problems, led one to think that the Spanish phenomenon would retire soon enough. The former world number 1 was able to prove everyone wrong, even though he recently failed the assault on his 14th Roland Garros.
In fact, a great Novak Djokovic blocked his access to the final, also forcing him to postpone his appointment with the 21st Major (which would have guaranteed him overtaking Roger Federer). As is now known, the 35-year-old from Manacor will miss both Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics, also thanks to the week less that separates the French Open from the third Slam of the season.
It is likely that we will see Rafa again on American hard court in August, with the US Open now in the sights of the Iberian. During a speech on ‘The S * xta’, his uncle Toni addressed the issue of Nadal’s retirement.
The 60-year-old did not want to unbalance himself in this regard, although he did not deny the many injuries his nephew had to live with.
Uncle Toni on Rafael Nadal’s retirement
Rafael Nadal turned 35 earlier this month.
Given his battle with injuries, it is unlikely he will remain on tour for many more years. “I don’t think my nephew needs advice on this,” Toni Nadal said. “I am sure that when he sees that he has no choice but to retire, he will retire.”
Rafael Nadal’s uncle admitted he often marveled at his nephew’s ability to play through the pain barrier. “Sometimes I wondered how this guy is playing with everything he has,” uncle Toni said. “My idea was to prepare him for difficulty,” Toni Nadal said.
“I have never been a complacent coach with my nephew although he always believed things were going to be okay. Rafael chose to go as high as possible and I always reminded him that it was going to cost him dearly.”
Just a few days back, 20-time Grand Slam champion, Rafael Nadal, withdrew from the Tokyo Olympics. Citing physical exhaustion caused during the grueling two-month-long clay-court season, Nadal felt his body needed to recuperate.
In fact, the reigning US Open champion, Dominic Thiem, also joined the Spanish superstar as the 27-year-old plans to focus his energy on defending his title at Flushing Meadows. As athletes are certain to face strict quarantine and testing protocols, many more withdrawals could follow suit in the coming weeks leading up to the Tokyo Olympics.