'It will be interesting to see if Rafael Nadal will stay...', says expert

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'It will be interesting to see if Rafael Nadal will stay...', says expert

Rafael Nadal broke into the Top 10 of the ATP rankings in April 2005 and hasn't failed since. The Spanish phenomenon is the player who has spent the longest time in the Top 10 with a record of over 900 weeks, further testimony to his incredible longevity.

The former world number 1 did not start the new season well, having been defeated by Cameron Norrie and Alex de Minaur in the inaugural edition of the United Cup. The 36-year-old from Manacor still seemed a long way from his best form and has already gone in Melbourne to train for the Australian Open.

Rafa will have to defend many points in the first part of 2023, having won the Australian Open and Roland Garros last year. The 22-time Grand Slam champion said he was confident despite the false start, but it won't be easy to stem opponents much younger than him at the AOs.

If we also include the last part of last season in the discussion, it is interesting to note how the Iberian has lost six of the last seven matches played on the circuit. In an interview with 'We Love Tennis', former French player Lionel Roux detailed Nadal's prospects.

Lionel Roux on Rafa Nadal

"It will be interesting to see if Rafael Nadal will stay in the top 10, after I know that what I say is very odd," Roux was quoted as saying by We Love Tennis. "If he wants to do a full season, I think he should skip the American tour," asserted the 49-year-old.

McNamee wrote in his Sydney Morning Herald column: “Like Federer before him, Nadal is battling injuries. In 2022, he had an abdominal tear, taking him out of an appetising semi at Wimbledon against Nick Kyrgios, plus there was a recurrence of a chronic ankle injury, and he has long battled tendonitis in the knees”.

Nadal has bristled at constant questions about his retirement, and McNamee can see where he is coming from. “After all, in 2022 he won two grand slam titles, and he became a father for the first time. That’s a very successful year by any measure.

He now sits on a record 22 grand slam titles, one ahead of Djokovic and two ahead of Federer. These particular stats in the GOAT (greatest of all time) race are arguably the most important, but in my opinion the three members of the trinity will all need to be retired before their careers can be evaluated”.

Rafael Nadal