Rafa Nadal coach's massive call on future after Australian Open

Rafa Nadal, pictured here with coach Carlos Moya during a practice session at the Australian Open.
Rafa Nadal chats with coach Carlos Moya during a practice session at the Australian Open. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Carlos Moya has declared Rafa Nadal primed and ready to compete for more big titles despite the Spanish champion hinted he is nearing retirement in his Australian Open victory speech.

Nadal pulled off an extraordinary comeback to win the Australian Open for his 21st major, erasing a two-set deficit against Daniil Medvedev to prevail in five hours and 24 minutes.

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Addressing the crowd in his victory speech, Nadal made the bombshell admission that he thought it might have been his final appearance at the Australian Open.

However he said his triumph will now motivate him to keep playing after moving one grand slam title ahead of great rivals Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

And in an interview with L'Equipe this week, coach Moya also said Nadal will push on despite a number of injuries slowing him down in recent years.

"It doesn't matter if it is 21 or 25 or 30. He likes to be competitive, he likes to stay healthy," Moya said.

"That is the most important thing for him. Then if he finishes with 25, he is only looking at what he's doing for himself. And he's happy with that.

"He never compares himself with any other player.

"It's more a media thing, I think, or even a fan thing, but he just wants to keep improving and evolving and be a contender for slams for many more years to come."

Rafael Nadal, pictured here embracing Carlos Moya and his team after winning the Australian Open.
Rafael Nadal embraces Carlos Moya and his team after winning the Australian Open. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images) (Daniel Pockett via Getty Images)

Rafa Nadal to pick and choose events for 2022

Moya said Nadal will be picky with the events he plays moving forward for the rest of 2022 in a bid to manage the foot injury that saw him miss the second half of 2021.

"Historically it's always been better on clay - it's less stressful on the foot," Moya said.

"But we're going step-by-step now and we're thinking week-by-week because we don't know what's going to happen tomorrow.

"He has been very good with the foot this week. Hopefully, that's something in the past, but no one can be sure.

"Obviously, the objective is Roland Garros. It's the main tournament for him, but we'll think about it [then]. Now he has Acapulco, Indian Wells and Miami, so we'll think about that."

Nadal also put paid to any thoughts of him slowing down in the jubilant aftermath to his record-setting 21st grand slam singles success.

"Of course, after this month of practising hard, playing very long matches, the foot was able to hold all this stress, of course I feel more confident that I going to have the chance to keep going, keep fighting, keep enjoying this beautiful sport," he said on Monday.

"That's what make me happy. I just feel confident now that I going to have my chances to keep playing tennis for a while, yeah."

with AAP

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