In a recent interview, former French player Lionel Roux detailed Rafael Nadal‘s prospects for the new season that has just begun. He told: “It will be interesting to see if Rafael Nadal manages to remain in the top 10 in the world, even if it may seem like heresy to many.
If he wants to remain competitive throughout the season, he must necessarily miss the American Masters 1000. He played too much in the first part of 2022 and has paid the consequences from Wimbledon onwards.” Many are wondering if Rafa will retire at the end of this season.
The 22-time Grand Slam champion was keen to clarify: “I don’t understand why there is all this speculation about it. If this were to be my last year here in Australia, I would try to enjoy it as much as possible. But I don’t see it that way , that is, with the idea of playing here for the last time.
But if it were to be the case, I will accept it. I still hope to be here in 2024 as well.”
Rafa’s outlook after his big 2022
Rafael Nadal broke into the Top 10 of the ATP rankings in April 2005 and hasn’t failed since. The Spanish phenomenon is the player who has spent the longest time in the Top 10 with a record of over 900 weeks, further testimony to his incredible longevity.
The former world number 1 did not start the new season well, having been defeated by Cameron Norrie and Alex de Minaur in the inaugural edition of the United Cup. The 36-year-old from Manacor still seemed a long way from his best form and has already gone in Melbourne to train for the Australian Open.
Rafa will have to defend many points in the first part of 2023, having won the Australian Open and Roland Garros last year. The 22-time Grand Slam champion said he was confident despite the false start, but it won’t be easy to stem Opponents much younger than him at the AOs.
If we also include the last part of last season in the discussion, it is interesting to note how the Iberian has lost six of the last seven matches played on the Tour.