Rafael Nadal - US Open 2022

Rafael Nadal claims there are ‘many chances’ that 2024 is his final year

Rafael Nadal has reinstated that it is likely that he will call an end to his illustrious career in 2024, with the former No.1 wanting to ‘enjoy the tournaments’.

Nadal has been out of action since January, when he obtained a psoas tear (hip) in his second round defeat to Mackenzie McDonald at the Australian Open.

Since then, Nadal has fallen outside of the top 600 for the first time in 21 years, but has recently revealed that he will be returning at the Brisbane International before heading back to the Australian Open.

With the announcement of his return, the Spaniard has been releasing videos on social media detailing his recovery process and explaining what 2024 could have in store for him.

In his most recent video, Nadal spoke about his thoughts about retirement and how he wanted to finish his career, “Of course I have thought many times that it did not make sense to continue playing, that in the end there have been many years, many things, many hours of work in which I did not see the result.”

He continued, “But I still think what I said in the last press conference, that I do not deserve to end my career in a press room. I would like to finish my career in a different way, and I have fought and kept the illusion for that to happen with doubts, with bad moments, very bad or better moments but I think I have had the right people around me as I have always had throughout my career.

“I think everyone has helped me decisively to be where I am today, which is with the option of returning to compete, and I think that also the desire of people who want to watch me play again has also an important impact on my day to day.”

Nadal had previously stated that 2024 is likely to be his last year, and while not confirming it as of yet has suggested that it is still a real possibility.

“It is a reality that there are many chances that it will be my last year without any doubt,” revealed Nadal. “There are chances that it may only be half a year, there are possibilities that it may be a full year, there are possibilities that we may not be able to reach all that.

“These are things right now that I do not have the capacity to be able to answer, this is the truth. I am only in conditions to say that I return to compete that I continue having in my head that the normal thing or that there are many possibilities, that it is my last year, and I am going to enjoy the tournaments in that way.”

The 37-year-old concluded, “I do not want to announce it because in the end I do not know what can happen and I have to give myself the opportunity not to say one thing and then I can be a slave of what I have said. I think it is going to be like that but I can’t be 100% sure to come back to compete and if suddenly things and my physique allows me to continue and I enjoy what I do why am I going to set a deadline? I think it makes no sense.”

It is not yet clear as to whether 2024 will be Nadal’s final year, but what we do know is that he will be returning at the Brisbane International that begins on 31st December.

Inside the baseline…

These insights that Nadal is providing since confirming his comeback are very interesting and really show how much of a process it has been for him, both physically and mentally. With 2024 being an Olympic year, Nadal is likely to want to at least make it to the Paris Games, especially as the tennis is held at his beloved Roland Garros.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.