Not even Rafael Nadal knows the future of Rafael Nadal, yet

The Spaniard left a glimmer of hope open: today it is utopia, but Rafa is the only one who can return and perform a miracle

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Not even Rafael Nadal knows the future of Rafael Nadal, yet
© Clive Mason / Staff Getty Images Sport

Maybe not even Rafael Nadal knows what will be the future of Rafael Nadal. Or rather, the professional horizon is now close, too close, but there is a small window that the Spaniard wants to leave open, so as not to definitively preclude a last chance to play his beloved Roland Garros without physical problems and at his highest level. At the moment, honestly, this glimmer of hope seems too utopian to fuel the fans' hopes, but Rafa is a champion who has crossed stormy oceans of difficulty. If there is anyone who can return to giving himself a dream and a miracle one last time, this is Rafa. What we saw in the match against Alexander Zverev is a determined player, who fights for every ball but who physically showed uncertainties and difficulties.

But what more can we ask from a tennis player who has won the Roland Garros 14 times and who will celebrate 38 years in a few days? And that he still dreams and plays tennis like a kid? Let's enjoy it while he plays; the future is today, tomorrow is far away.

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unknown© Clive Mason / Staff Getty Images Sport
 

At the end of the match, Nadal thanked all the people present for their support. The champion from Manacor expressed his gratitude to all the crowd present, explaining how his future is still uncertain. 

"I want to say thank you to everyone. It's not easy for me to talk. I don't know if this will be the last time, I'm not 100% sure, but if it were to be I felt extraordinary feelings. It's really nice to receive all this love in the place I love the most. I want to congratulate Sasha for the match and the victory in Rome, I wish you the best for the rest of the tournament. I know 2022 has been a difficult year for you, so I wish you good luck for the future. It's been a very difficult couple of years for me due to injuries. The dream has always been to play this tournament again. This wasn't the ideal first round. I played to my full potential It was easy. There's a very good chance I won't play this tournament again.

The body feels better than it did two months ago. Maybe in two months I'll say I've had enough of tennis, but at the moment I have other goals. I want to play in the Olympics and I hope to arrive prepared and competitive at the event. The sensations I felt on this field were extraordinary, as a child I never imagined I would reach the age of 38 with all these memories. Having won so many times was something unimaginable. For every single year I have different but special memories. I thank all the people who helped and supported me, my team, family, friends. The sensations you made me experience here will remain indelible in my heart," he said.

Rafael Nadal, Roland Garros 2024
Rafael Nadal, Roland Garros 2024© Clive Mason / Staff - Getty Images Sport
 

The spanish champion then added: "I've been through really bad times, my body has been a jungle in the last few months where I couldn't see the light. I kept the discipline to give myself the opportunity to be here. I struggled tremendously with my problems. This was the first week I felt my body was ready to move without limitations, the first tournament I thought I had any chance of winning. I'm very proud of what I've done and I don't think I've gotten far from giving myself real options to do something important. My match was positive, analyzing things in perspective. I made some mistakes, but you can't build a house in two days. I didn't take advantage of some opportunities that could have changed the game due to the lack of confidence that could show you the way at all times.

I'm a normal guy who likes to do what he does. I like sport, competition, training and matches. I enjoy traveling with my wife and son. As long as I feel competitive, I will continue to play. I have to see if my level will rise. 2025? If I continue to be happy day after day and my body responds well, I won't close any doors. Logic tells me it's very difficult, but time will provide me with the answers. When I have a decision, I will communicate it definitively. I hope to get there in good shape, but I will have the same problem: I will not be seeded and I will arrive without the match pace. If I can arrive in better physical condition with an extra month of training under my belt, I will participate with the hope of having fun and having some opportunities. After that appointment, I will evaluate how I am doing and make decisions about the future."

Rafael Nadal, Roland Garros 2024
Rafael Nadal, Roland Garros 2024© Clive Mason / Staff - Getty Images Sport
 

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