Rafael Nadal admits he has spent a lot of time thinking about saying “goodbye” to tennis, as he prepares to fight for his 21st major title.
The 35-year-old has the chance to secure the record for most Grand Slam wins in the men’s game if he takes victory in the Australian Open final against world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev.
Taking the trophy away from Melbourne will see Nadal move one major triumph ahead of his long-time rivals Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer at the summit of world tennis.
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“As I said, no, I went through a lot of challenging moments, a lot of days of hard work without seeing a light there. But still working and still receiving plenty of support from my team and from my family, too, without a doubt,” he said.
A foot injury took Nadal out of action for several months last year, but he finally made his competitive return during the Australian swing, and is now just one win away from his first title since the French Open in 2020.
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However, Nadal has revealed he’s come very close to calling time on his tennis career on several occasions.
“Yeah, I mean, a lot of conversations with the team, with the family about what can happen or what is going to happen if the things continue like this, thinking that maybe is a chance to say goodbye. So, I mean, that was not a lot of months ago”, he said.
After his triumph on Rod Laver Arena against Berrettini, Nadal admits he felt overwhelmed, despite being extremely grateful to still be playing the game.
“To be able to be where I am today, I don’t know, I really can’t explain in words how important is for me in terms of energy, in terms of personal satisfaction, in terms of being very thankful for all the support that I received from the fans and especially from the people really close to me.”
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Source: Euro Sports