Rafael Nadal - Brisbane International

Rafael Nadal says decision to retire next year is not set in stone

Rafael Nadal has refused to rule out playing beyond the 2024 season, but everything will depend upon how his body reacts to regular tennis again.

Nadal is making his return to the ATP Tour after a year out injured in Australia, starting with Brisbane where he will play former US Open champion Dominic Thiem in the first round.

If all goes well he will then go to the Australian Open and beyond, but will he go even further than that and try for another year in 2025?

“The problem about saying it’s going to be my last season is that I can’t predict what’s going on 100 per cent in the future,” Nadal said. “That’s why I say ‘probably’.”

“It’s obvious it’s a high percentage that it’s going to be my last time playing in Australia. But if I’m here next year, don’t tell me, ‘you said it’s going to be your last season’ because I didn’t say it.

“You never know what’s going on, you know? I can’t predict how I’m going to be in the next six months. I can’t predict if my body will allow me to enjoy tennis as much as I enjoyed the past 20 years.”

When will Rafael Nadal make retirement decision?

As usual with Rafael Nadal, it appears that it will all centre around Roland Garros, and you can’t blame him for that.

Nadal has achieved incredible things at the French Open, winning 14 titles there – an accomplishment that has understandably earned him the moniker of The King of Clay.

This year the Olympics will be held there too, meaning he could make it a Roland Garros double, but he says that if this year will be his last appearance there, he will make it known beforehand.

Speaking to El Pais earlier this month, Nadal said: “When I arrive in Paris, I will know if it is my last year. And there will be a prior announcement.

“There will have passed five months on the circuit and I’ll know my reality: one can sense these things, but until he feels them he cannot do anything.”

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.