Rafael Nadal - Australian Open 2023

Rafael Nadal’s uncle and former coach predicts his retirement destination

Rafael Nadal appears to be entering the twilight of his career, and his former coach Toni Nadal has had his say on where his nephew could say a final goodbye to tennis.

Nadal worked with his uncle, Toni, from 1990 to 2017 and won a total of 16 Grand Slam titles together.

Toni is now coaching No.6 Felix Auger-Aliassime, who has had the most successful years of his career under the Spaniard’s leadership, winning four titles and reaching the ATP Finals last year.

Rafael Nadal has been on the sidelines for most of this year so far, recovering from a grade two iliopsoas injury he sustained at the Australian Open and this has added to the speculation around the 22-time Grand Slam champion’s potential retirement.

While Toni did not give details about when his nephew could retire, he did suggest two potential locations where it could be, “In Madrid or at Roland Garros.”

Nadal is the most successful player at both of those events, winning 14 Roland Garros titles and Madrid on five occasions.

The No.13 is the reigning champion in Paris, but has not lifted the title in the Spanish capital since 2017.

Toni Nadal also talked about the difficulty of retiring when you are at the top of the sport, making comparisons with Pete Sampras who retired after winning the US Open in 2002.

“It’s hard to retire winning. I think Sampras did it. I haven’t talked about that with Rafa. I don’t know how much it fits him. If he fully recovers, let him keep playing and we’ll see,” said Toni.

The 36-year-old has been updating fans on his injury comeback on social media, with videos of him hitting on the clay ahead of a bid for a 15th Roland Garros title.

Nadal’s current plan is to return at another tournament he has dominated over the years in Monte Carlo, which begins on the 9th April.

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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.