Rafael Nadal casts major doubts over comeback with frank ‘illusion’ admission

Rafael Nadal has downplayed his chances of winning another Grand Slam when he returns from injury. In a revealing interview back home in Spain, Nadal has painfully accepted that another triumph at the French or Australian Opens is an ‘illusion’. 

The tennis icon has warned that people are ‘disorientated’ if they believe he can return from a recurring hip injury and compete for Grand Slams again. The 37-year-old has not played since the Australian Open, pulling out of Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open this year. 

Nadal accepted earlier this year that he will likely retire at the end of 2024. It will bring to an end a remarkable career that has already included 22 Slam victories. 

But the two-time Wimbledon champion does not want to promise any more triumphs at majors. Having struggled with the intensity of a gruelling tennis season for quite some time, he has been eager to manage expectations. 

Speaking to Movistar, Nadal said: “I would like to play again, to be competitive. But the illusion is not to come back and win Roland Garros or Australia, so that people are not disoriented.

“I am fully aware that at the time when I am in my life, it is a distant idea. I don’t say ‘impossible’. I’ve said it a thousand times, things change very quickly in sport.”

Explaining why it would not be a frustration to never win another Grand Slam, he added: “I’m not frustrated for a simple reason. I believe that, within my means, I have done everything possible to ensure that things go as smoothly as possible for me. Novak could be frustrated because he lives everything more intensely and that’s why he’s the best”


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