‘That is my situation now’ – Rafael Nadal drops retirement hint after five set epic
Grand Slam legend Rafael Nadal has admitted that each match could be his last as he hinted at retirement following his epic last 16 clash versus Felix Auger-Aliassime.
The 13-time Roland Garros champion was taken to a fifth set for just the third time in his career by Felix Auger-Aliassime at the Paris Slam as he triumphed 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.
The 35-year-old demonstrated his typical grit and determination to squeeze past the 21-year-old Canadian and set up a highly-anticipated 59th career showdown between Nadal and world number one Novak Djokovic, after the Serb downed Diego Schwartzman earlier in the day on Sunday.
Despite making the quarter-finals in Paris, Nadal’s preparation for the tournament had been hindered due to his chronic foot problem which flared up during the Rome Masters earlier this month.
Speaking after the match against Auger-Aliassime, Nadal suggested that his best form is behind him and any match could be his last match at Roland Garros, sparking fears of imminent retirement.
Post-match, the 21-time Grand Slam winner told reporters, “I am in the quarter finals of Roland-Garros.
“I am just enjoying the fact I am here for one more year.
“Being honest, every match that I play here I do not know if it will be the last match here in Roland-Garros in my tennis career. That is my situation now.
“I went through a tough process again with my foot. I do not know what will happen in the near future with my career, so I am just trying to enjoy and fight as much as I can to keep living the dream.
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