Ex-tennis star confident Rafael Nadal will continue post 2024

The Spaniard has stated repeatedly that he will leave tennis at the end of the year

By Web Desk
February 26, 2024
Rafael Nadal will play in the upcoming Indian Wells. — Reuters

Retired Spanish tennis ace David Ferrer is optimistic about Rafael Nadal's prospects for the next season, provided he avoids another serious injury setback.

Nadal has participated in only one tournament this season, the Brisbane International in January, where he reached the quarter-finals. Following a series of victories, including wins over Dominic Thiem and Jason Kubler, he lost to Jordan Thompson. This marked his return to the Tour after almost a year due to a hip injury.

However, Nadal was soon sidelined again due to a minor tear in his hip muscle, and he has not played since. His upcoming return is scheduled for an exhibition event in Los Vegas next week, where he will face Carlos Alcaraz before heading to Indian Wells.

Speculation about Nadal's retirement has arisen due to his physical challenges, with the 37-year-old suggesting this year might be his last. Despite the uncertainty, Ferrer remains positive about Nadal's future.

“If he does not have physical injuries, I am convinced that he will be competitive. It was already shown in the first week of the year in Brisbane that he was at a very high level without barely competing. If he doesn’t have any injuries he will be competitive and if he is competitive, he will continue for another year.” Ferrer said during an interview with Marca.

Ferrer, a former world No. 3 and winner of 27 ATP titles, believes that Nadal's focus for 2024 will include the upcoming Summer Olympics in Paris. The Olympic tennis tournament will take place at Roland Garros, where Nadal has triumphed a record 14 times, including in 2013 when he defeated Ferrer in the final.

“What I can say is that we have to wait a little to see how Rafa goes on the Indian Wells tour and then on the clay tour, which is very important to see how he feels.” He said.

“Today, Rafa’s priority, before the Davis Cup, is the (Olympic) Games. Have a good clay tour, feel competitive and be at the Paris event.”

Nadal, a two-time Olympic gold medallist, clinched the singles title in 2008 and the doubles event in 2016.

Regarding the Davis Cup, Ferrer expresses hope that Nadal will participate, potentially teaming up with Alcaraz for the doubles. Spain did not qualify for the finals last year, which were hosted in their home country.

“The option that he (Nadal) can play doubles with Carlos Alcaraz is something that all tennis fans and I, as captain, are very excited to see being there,” Ferrer stated.