Tennis great Chris Evert has joined many in wondering if Rafa Nadal could be set to retire at the end of the season after some blunt comments after his French Open fourth round win.
The tennis world erupted with excitement after 13-time Roland Garros winner Rafa Nadal pushed through a five-epic to set up a quarter-final showdown with Novak Djokovic at the French Open.
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Nadal overcame a sluggish start and a stiff challenge from the Felix Auger-Aliassime in an enthralling 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 epic at Roland Garros.
However, the 21-time grand slam champion appeared to raise a few eyebrows in his post-match speech.
Nadal hinted that he doesn't know when his last game will be on the ATP Tour.
The 35-year-old is up against the in-form World No.1 player, but admitted his recent struggles with injury has him thinking about the end of his career.
“I am in the quarter finals of Roland-Garros,” Nadal said after defeating Auger-Aliassime.
“I am just enjoying the fact I am here for one more year.
“Being honest, every match that I play here I do not know if it will be the last match here in Roland-Garros in my tennis career. That is my situation now.
“I went through a tough process again with my foot. I do not know what will happen in the near future with my career, so I am just trying to enjoy and fight as much as I can to keep living the dream.
“I hope to give myself a chance to play at the highest level possible and then let’s see.”
Tennis great concerned after Rafa Nadal comments
These comments appeared to strike a chord with tennis icon Evert.
The 18-time grand slam champion was speaking on Eurosport and said Nadal appeared tired heading into the French Open in 2022.
“He is sounding weary,” Evert said.
“There is so much more that comes with being a professional tennis player than playing a match, but he sounded tired.
“The respect I have for him because he is 35 years old and he can keep getting psyched up every single day for these matches.”
Evert went on to say she doesn't see Nadal playing on after another few seasons at best with the 35-year-old living with a painful foot injury.
Regardless, Nadal appears up for the task against Djokovic as the duo are set to clash for the 59th time in their career.
The Spaniard, who will turn 36 on Friday, has lifted the Musketeers' Cup a record 13 times but was beaten in the semi-finals last year by Djokovic.
And Nadal knows he will have to improve to defeat the World No.1 and reigning French Open champion.
"Of course, we know each other well. We have a lot of history together," Nadal said.
"I am going to be focused, I will try my best. I don't know what will happen but I will fight until the end."
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