Rafael Nadal drops Candid remarks on Grand Slam race with Novak Djokovic after hinting at Tennis retirement

With twenty-two Grand Slam titles to his name, Rafael Nadal has had a stellar career that saw him dazzling fans for over two decades now. As the swansong of his illustrious reign at the top of the sport draws near, the 37-year-old wants to take the court in what could be one of his final few appearances.

He has missed three Grand Slam tournaments this year following his hip injury in the second round of the 2023 Australian is optimistic about returning for the 2024 Roland Garros. Nadal has hinted that he will likely finish with fewer Grand Slam titles than Novak Djokovic, as he looks set to retire in the coming year.

Rafael Nadal drops candid remarks on Grand Slam race with Novak Djokovic.

In reference to their Grand Slam title race, Rafael Nadal told Movistar that Novak Djokovic would have been “frustrated” had he not set the twenty-four Grand Slam record.

“I’m not frustrated for a simple reason. I believe that within my means I have done everything possible to ensure that things go as smoothly as possible for me”, Nadal said.

“I think Djokovic lives it in a more intense way”, he added. “For him, it would be a great frustration not to achieve it (the major tally).”

Novak Djokovic has further solidified his claim for the GOAT status after winning a record twenty-four Grand Slam singles with his recent triumph at the U.S Open. He became the oldest man to win the title and tied Margaret Court for the most in men’s and women’s tennis.

Second in the list is Rafael Nadal at twenty-two Grand Slams, while Roger Federer, who retired last year, is third with twenty.

Rafael Nadal hints his retirement from Tennis in 2024

Rafael Nadal expressed regret about missing so many Grand Slams due to Injury. Till date, Nadal has competed in 30 Grand Slam finals and missed 11 Grand Slam tournaments.

“I have been one of the most inactive players on the court for many years. I’ve missed four and half years of Grand Slams. That’s what the sports is all about. Djokovic is also more successful because he has had a level of fitness/physique that has allowed him to play more than me”, Nadal said.

“I would like to play again, to be competitive. But I’m not expecting to come back and win Rolland Garros or Australia so that people are not disoriented.”

When approached with the question of his possible retirement, Nadal responded, “Yes (2024), it is going to be my last year 100%. I have it planned like this. I don’t believe in magic but if suddenly the body recovers after the long layoff I’ve had and I feel strong and energetic to continue – I’m saying one thing but then may do another.”

Rafael Nadal envisions ending his career at the 2024 Paris Olympics and Rolland Garros. “The 2024 Olympics in Paris would be a nice end of my career if I feel good. My schedule can change if I feel I can have a chance to win at Roland Garros.”, Nadal said.

While Novak Djokovic, when asked about retirement after the U.S. Open triumph, said, “I just don’t see a reason for that. I will probably consider doing that if I get my ass kicked by a young guy in Grand Slam in the years to come in the earlier stages and then I’ll probably say, okay, maybe it’s time to move on.”

Fans would definitely love to see Nadal and Djokovic keep dazzling the courts for years to come. What are your thoughts about their possible retirement? Share with us below.

SZ Desk

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