Former 18-time Grand Slam champion Chris Evert thinks Rafael Nadal is "sounding weary" but suggested it should not be a surprise since the Spaniard is nearly 36 and has been battling various injuries over the course of his career.
On Sunday, Nadal edged out Felix Auger-Aliassime in a five-set battle to reach the French Open quarterfinal. After the match, Nadal made some comments that drew attention as he said that he is trying to make the most out of this year's Roland Garros because nothing is guaranteed.
“He is sounding weary,” Evert said on Eurosport. “There is so much more that comes with being a professional tennis player than playing a match, but he sounded tired. The respect I have for him because he is 35 years old and he can keep getting psyched up every single day for these matches”.
The comments Nadal made after beating Auger-Aliassime
"I am in the quarter finals of Roland-Garros,” Nadal said after defeating Auger-Aliassime. "I am just enjoying the fact I am here for one more year. Being honest, every match that I play here I do not know if it will be the last match here in Roland-Garros in my tennis career.
That is my situation now. I went through a tough process again with my foot. I do not know what will happen in the near future with my career, so I am just trying to enjoy and fight as much as I can to keep living the dream. I hope to give myself a chance to play at the highest level possible and then let’s see”.
Nadal missed almost the entire second half of the 2021 season because of a foot injury. Nadal made a comeback at the start of 2022 but in March sustained a rib injury. Nadal needed a month and a half to recover from a rib injury but then started experiencing problems with his foot again.