How Rafael Nadal can extend his career until 2025

The legendary Spanish tennis player confirms that 2024 could be his last tennis season, but he also knows that if things go well, he can move on

by Lorenzo Ciotti
How Rafael Nadal can extend his career until 2025
© Cameron Spencer / Staff Getty Images Sport

2024 could be Rafael Nadal's last tennis season, but things could also go differently. Will the legendary Spanish champion be able to extend his shadow to 2025? Rafa himself has not ruled out this possibility, making all tennis lovers go crazy with joy.

Last June, when he announced that he would not take part at the Roland Garros, Nadal had already spoken of his possible retirement at the end of 2024. His desire has always been to end his career on the court, and not in a press box.

In a video published on his Instagram account, Nadal reiterated the same concept but without setting a real limit. In the event that his body responds positively to training and matches, Rafa would not want to become a slave to his words and say goodbye to tennis.

The Spaniard will already have a decisive test with participation in the ATP 250 in Brisbane, the first event in which he will participate after more than a year's hiatus. Everything will depend on how he physically recovers from the serious injury (and consequent surgery) suffered at the 2023 Australian Open.

If his body is in good shape and able to withstand the toughest events, then Nadal will be able to concretely think about postponing his retirement beyond 2024. If he were to win the Roland Garros or the Paris Olympics, then there would be other reasons to be able to continue forward.

Competitiveness is the other decisive fact, in fact. If Rafa were to prove competitive during the season, he could decide to continue until at least 2025. Then, obviously, with a family and a belly already full of titles and records, his prospects can always change during the season.

Nadal himself has not ruled out a change of plan

"Clearly I thought many times that there was no point in continuing to play. In the end I experienced many things, hours and hours of work without seeing concrete results. But I continue to think what I said during my last conference, that is, that I don't deserve to finish my career in a newsroom.

I'd like to end in a different way. I fought and continued to have hope that I could make what I wanted happen. I had doubts, went through negative moments, but I think I surrounded myself with the right people: my family, my team, friends...

I think everyone helped me in a decisive way to find myself in this position where I have the chance to compete again . I believe that seeing me play again is also the desire of the fans," explained Nadal. "There are many possibilities that next year will be my last year without any doubt.

Chances are it could be half a year, a full year, or neither. There are questions I can't answer right now. This is the truth. I can only say that I will compete again and that in my head this could be the last year. I will try to enjoy every tournament.

I don't want to make any announcements, because we don't know what could happen and I don't want to be a slave to my declarations. I believe that things will go like this, but I can't be 100% sure. I've worked hard to get back to playing and if my body will allow me to have fun, why should I set a deadline? It wouldn't make sense," he said.

Rafael Nadal