Eurosport tennis expert Mats Wilander thinks Rafael Nadal can play for three or four more years if everything falls into place for the Spaniard. Nadal, 36, had another injury-plagued season in 2022 but still he was able to win the Australian Open and French Open.
In 2022, Nadal showed that if healthy, he can still compete against the best players in the world and also win the biggest titles. "I would think that after you won your last Grand Slam tournament, there are about three or four years left in you, for sure, especially if you keep your ranking in the top eight.
If you have just won the Australian Open and the French Open in 2022, I would say you have three or four more years. I don't care about the fact that Rafa turns 40 in four years. I don't think it matters because you are going to have in your mind 'hey, kids, I've done this now since I was 17-18 years old,'" Wilander told Eurosport.
Wilander: Nadal knows what he is looking for
Nadal, who finished the season ranked at No 2 in the world, had a shot at finishing as the Year-End No 1. However, when Nadal was asked about the possibility of finishing the season as No 1, he said being No 1 wasn't his top priority anymore.
Nadal, who will be turning 37 next June, clearly indicated that at this stage of his career he mainly cares about Grand Slams and not his ranking. "I think that keeping his ranking up is going to be very tough. Winning another Grand Slam is going to be easier, much easier, than being in the top three in the world in the rankings because you don't need that.
Rafa knows what he is looking for: he knows emotionally what he is looking for; he knows physically what he is looking for," Wilander added. Following an injury-plagued 2021 season, Nadal was written off and counted out by many, but then he returned and proved everyone wrong.