Rafael Nadal dismisses retirement rumours, saying: ‘I am going to keep fighting!’
Rafael Nadal has dismissed rumours he is set to retire, telling fans he will keep going after winning a 14th French Open title.
Nadal came into the tournament battling a chronic foot problem that forced him to limp out of the Rome Masters.
He rose to the challenge at Roland Garros, beating top 10 players Felix Auger-Aliassime, Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev and Casper Ruud consecutively to win a men’s record-extending 22nd Major.
However, throughout the tournament rumours have persisted that he was on the brink of retirement due to his foot problem, but he has now put those to bed for the time being.
He said in his trophy acceptance speech to rapturous applause: “I don’t know what can happen in the future but I am going to keep fighting to try to keep going.
“First of all, Casper [Ruud].
“It is a pleasure to play a final with you.
“I would like to congratulate you for an amazing tournament and career so far.
“I wish you all the best for the future.”
Addressing his team, Nadal added: “It’s amazing the things that are happening this year.
“Without you it would not be possible.
“I would have retired long ago if it had not been for you.”
The Spaniard went on to express his love for the Paris Slam, a tournament he admits is the most important in his career.
He said: “[Roland Garros] is the best in the world.
“All the ball [kids], volunteers, people behind the scenes.
“You make me feel like home.
“For me, it’s hard to describe the feelings I have.
“I would not believe I would be here at 36.
“It means a lot, it means a lot of energy to keep going.
“I just want to say, thank you Paris.”
Having turned 36 on 3rd June, Rafael Nadal is now the oldest ever men’s champion at Roland Garros.
Moreover, he is now fourth in terms of oldest ever male Slam champions in the Open Era.
Ken Rosewall was a slightly older 36 and 37 when he won his 1971 and 1972 Australian Open titles.
In between those ages, Roger Federer was 36 years and five months old when he won his most recent Major at the 2018 Australian Open.
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