The Uncertain Future of Rafael Nadal: Navigating the 2024 Tennis Season as His Last

Rafael Nadal has long understood that the 2024 season will be his last as a professional tennis player. He does not confirm it because he wants to give himself a chance and see how his body responds on the clay, his great thermometer, that surface that has given him so much joy in his career. This year, however, The European tour that will culminate with Roland Garros seems like a real puzzle for the 22-time Grand Slam champion.

The Spaniard has played just three games in the last twelve months. He injured his hip in January 2023 and does not He reappeared until January 2024, when a small muscle tear in his third game in Brisbane sent him back to the infirmary.. And there it continues: this week he announced his resignation from the Doha tournament and if he finally recovers he will play an exhibition in Las Vegas on March 3 against Carlos Alcaraz to later travel to Indian Wells, one of his favorite tournaments.

Then he will skip the Miami Masters 1000, one of the few tournaments he has never won, and He will return to Spain to get into clay court mode. And there she will have to put her heart and head on a scale. He will have to make difficult and painful decisions: given his delicate state of form, It seems almost impossible that he will complete the entire dirt season. But, of course, questions arise on the other side: Is Nadal not going to play in Madrid in what will possibly be his last year on the circuit? And Barcelona, ​​where he has won 12 times? And Monte Carlo, where he has reigned 11 times? And in Rome, where he is also the king with ten trophies?

“In the dirt season There are many very exciting and unforgettable tournaments for me. If you ask me if I would sign to play, just play Roland Garros and the Olympic GamesI would say no“Nadal said Wednesday night in an interview with Cadena Cope’s Partidazo.

“You have to go through Madrid,” asked the host of the program, Juanma Castaño, to which Nadal, sincerely, responded: “I don’t know, I hope so. I will play what I can within my reality and within an objective vision that I cannot lose sight of that I want to play Roland Garros. “I have to see in what physical state I arrive on earth in order to take the minimum risks and arrive at Roland Garros in optimal conditions as much as possible.”

Clay court dates

The clay season starts on April 7 with the Monte Carlo Masters 1000, continues with the Conde de Godó on April 15 and continues later with the Madrid Masters 1000 (April 24 to May 5) and Rome (8 to May 19) before culminating with Roland Garros (May 26 to June 9). And 2024 is special in that sense because the Parisian Grand Slam facilities will host the Olympic Games tournament at the end of July.. Of all the tournaments prior to Roland Garros, Nadal has only confirmed his presence in Barcelona.

What I want and what I am going to do is very different.“, Nadal reflected in Cope about his next steps on the circuit. “It would be nonsense to tell you my calendar today because what I thought or wanted it to be is not going to be. My calendar will be as much as possible within my possibilities and the reality that I live at each moment.. “My hope is to at least be able to play the dirt season in acceptable conditions and I am going to work for it.”

“The Doha decision is aimed at that, to not make mistakes before the part of the season in which I would like, I’m not saying to be competitive to achieve great things, but to be healthy to be able to enjoy and compete“.

Nacho Encabo is a sports editor at Relevo, a specialist in tennis and the Olympic Games. Born in Madrid, he studied Journalism and Audiovisual Communication at the Rey Juan Carlos University and began as an intern in the sports section of El Mundo in 2011. Knowing German shortly after opened the doors of the dpa agency, where he worked as a special envoy to the 2012 London Olympic Games and the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, the 2016 Euro Cup in France and the 2018 World Cup in Russia. In addition, adding Relay and the rest of his career, he has covered the four Grand Slams of tennis, the Davis Cup , athletics world championships, Formula 1 Grand Prix and countless LaLiga and Champions League matches. He has also worked as a reporter at El Independiente and traveled to the Tokyo Olympics on the Spanish Olympic Committee team. …

  • Rafael Nadal

  • Roland Garros

2024-02-17 09:59:16


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