Rafa Nadal has dropped an astounding hint that he may retire after admitting he is unsure when he will return from injury.
RAFA NADAL may miss the Australian Open after saying, “I’m not sure when I’ll play next.”
Due to a longstanding left foot injury, the Spanish legend, who has won a joint-record 20 tennis majors, has not played since early August in Washington.
The world No. 6 has had a challenging year, missing Wimbledon, the Tokyo Olympics, and the US Open in New York.
Before then, he had failed to win for the fourth time at Roland Garros, his typical happy hunting ground.
The 35-year-old is unsure when he will return to competitive battle, but he will do it once he is totally healthy.
The Australian Open in 2022 begins on January 17, but players may be required to travel before the New Year to begin a quarantine period.
“I want to return from this injury in good shape,” Nadal stated.
“I’m not sure when I’ll play again; I work a lot every day and stick to a particular plan with a clearly defined timeline and clear objectives.”
GET OVER £2,000 IN NEW CUSTOMER DEALS WITH FREE BETS“I won’t specify what those objectives are because there are always things I can’t control 100 percent.
“However, I’m clear on what my goals are in my head, and I’m confident that things will turn out well.”
In an intense semi-final showdown with Novak Djokovic in June, Nadal suffered only his third ever defeat at Roland Garros.
After four hours of intense tennis, the Serbian triumphed, defeating Nadal 3-6 6-3 7-6 6-2 in their 58th meeting.
Nadal appeared to be suffering from the same ankle issue that led him to quit from three of tennis’ most important championships this year.
Nadal tweeted shortly after the loss: “Hello everyone, I’ve chosen not to compete in this year’s Wimbledon Championships or the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“It’s never easy to make a decision, but after listening to my body and consulting with my team, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s the best option.
“At this stage of my profession, preventing any form of excess in my body is a very vital component in order to keep striving for the greatest level of competition and titles.”
Despite his desire to compete for trophies, Nadal’s injury worries make it uncertain when, if ever, he would be able to return to the court.