Tennis great John McEnroe predicts when Rafael Nadal could retire when Australian Open begins in 2023
American tennis star John McEnroe believes the end of Rafael Nadal’s famous career is in sight.
Nadal, the 22-time Grand Slam champion, previously balked at a question of retirement when it was asked after he lost a match at the United Cup.
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“For me, I lost my match – that’s it, right?” said Nadal after losing to British star Cameron Norrie on January 1.
“Every time I come to a press conference, I feel like I have to withdraw. So you’re very, very interested in my retirement. I mean that’s not the case at the moment.
“When that day comes, I’ll let you know. But don’t go ahead with retiring because I’m here to keep playing tennis.
The 36-year-old is still world no.
World No. 13 Alexander Zverev also suggested Nadal could retire from the game after this year’s French Open – famously his most prolific Slam, which he has won 14 times.
“Unfortunately, I think Rafa will retire at Roland Garros. I don’t want it to happen, but I think he’ll play a great tournament, possibly win it and say goodbye,” said the German.
Nadal has again been forced to throw cold water on the retirement call – this time from a colleague – but says he has no timeline for his future.
“I don’t know what will happen in six months,” Nadal replied to Zverev’s comments.
“I have a very good relationship with Zverev, but not enough to admit something like that to him.
“The reality is I’m here to play tennis, try to have a great 2023, fight for everything I’ve struggled with throughout my career and I’m not thinking about my retirement.”
McEnroe said he was “still amazed” by Nadal’s evergreen “hunger” for success but admits he believes there can’t be much fuel left in the tank.
“You know what? It would be difficult to write Rafa off at some point considering he did so well last year,” McEnroe told Eurosport.
“I didn’t expect that last year. So I’m always amazed by him.
“It’s amazing how hungry he is. With all the success he had. The other players should look at him. I used to look at him, well, he’s like Jimmy Connors. And I was like, ‘This guy is trying harder than anyone I’ve ever seen. I have to try harder.’
“And if I were playing today, I would look at Rafeal Nadal every day and say, ‘You know, I have to try as hard as this guy. Because I know almost nobody who does that.
“Obviously, by the time you’re 36, your body can only take so much; eventually it will give up. Will it be this year? I do not know. Next year?
“How much longer can he do it at this level? And he doesn’t want to be 10 or 20 in the world.
“Once he, I think, feels like he can’t win majors. He will stop.”
https://7news.com.au/sport/tennis/tennis-great-john-mcenroe-predicts-when-rafael-nadal-could-retire-from-his-decorated-career-c-9462828 Tennis great John McEnroe predicts when Rafael Nadal could retire when Australian Open begins in 2023