Rafael Nadal, fresh from the defeat against Novak Djokovic in Bois de Boulogne, has announced it on social channels. "It's never an easy decision to make but after listening to my body and discussing with my team, I realized it's the right choice to make.
The goal is obviously to extend my career and keep doing what makes me happy, which is to compete at the highest level and keep fighting for professional and personal goals at the highest level, "he explained over the course of a long message.
He therefore clears both the reasons and the timing. The Spaniard, before approaching Paris, had closed the string of tournaments on clay-courts with two victories (Barcelona and Rome) and two quarter-finals, reached first in Monte-Carlo and then in Madrid.
Few imagined that Rafael Nadal would have had such a long career at the highest levels. His expensive game, coupled with numerous physical problems, led one to think that the Spanish phenomenon would retire soon enough. The former world number 1 was able to prove everyone wrong, even though he recently failed the assault on his 14th Roland Garros.
In fact, a great Novak Djokovic blocked his access to the final, also forcing him to postpone his appointment with the 21st Major (which would have guaranteed him overtaking Roger Federer). As is well known, the 35-year-old from Manacor will miss both Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics, also thanks to the week less that separates the French Open from the third Slam of the season.
It is likely that we will see Rafa again on American hard court in August, with the US Open now in the Iberian's sights.
Toni Nadal: "I've always got used to managing difficulties"
During a speech on The S * xta, his uncle Toni addressed the issue of Nadal's retirement.
The 60-year-old did not want to unbalance himself in this regard, without denying the many injuries his grandson had to live with. Toni said: "I have to congratulate Rafael Nadal, I have often wondered how he managed to get to this point despite the physical problems that have plagued him during his career.
Regarding the issue of retirement, I don't think my nephew needs advice. I am sure that - when he understands that it is the most logical choice - he will retire without any problem." In the long run together, Toni has always accustomed Rafa to handle worst-case scenarios.
Toni added: "My idea was to prepare him for difficulties. I have never been a tender coach towards my grandson, although I have always had faith in his potential. He made the decision to get as high as possible, my job was to make him understand that it would be a difficult undertaking." It is likely that the Majorcan will be overtaken by Stefanos Tsitsipas in the next few weeks.