Rafael Nadal talks up retirement plans as Spanish star continues recovery from surgery

Rafael Nadal announces end to 2021 season through injury

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Rafael Nadal has revealed his post retirement plans and admitted he is “not afraid of life without tennis.” The Spaniard wishes to remain involved with the sport once he decides to hang up his racket.

He already has the excellent facility that is the Rafael Nadal Academy, which helps to train and develop young tennis players.

It has also been used as a practice facility for fellow players, with the likes of Andy Murray and Naomi Osaka spending time there.

Nadal said: “I’m definitely in the sports industry. I run an academy, which will keep me connected to tennis and I like helping young players grow.

“I will also spend more time on my foundation, which supports economically disadvantaged children. I’m not afraid of life without tennis at all.”

The 35-year-old was seen back on the practice courts last week following successful foot surgery.

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However, as he continues his recovery, the 20-time grand slam champion is unsure when fans will next see him play on the tour.

“I don’t know when I will play again. I work every day and follow a specific plan, with very clear goals that I will not reveal what they are, because there are things that I cannot control 100 percent.

“I trust that everything I am doing will give the result that we hope to get.”

The tennis legend has not played since the Washington Open in August where he was defeated by South Africa’s Lloyd Harris in three sets.

The Spaniard withdrew from Wimbledon and the Olympics after losing just his third ever match at Roland Garros, and later revealed he aggravated a foot injury during his semi-final that left him unable to play tennis for 20 days.

He made a short-lived return, playing just two matches at the American capital before shutting down his season early.

Nadal flew to Canada after the Harris defeat with the intention to play in the Toronto Masters but flew home before his opening match.

Despite the premature end to his season, Nadal won two tournaments in 2021, the Bareclona Open and The Rome Masters.

The sporting icon is recovering from a chronic foot injury that has plagued him since 2005 and threatened to shorten his career.

“The injury is nothing new. It is the same injury that I have had since 2005,” he added. 

“In that moment, the doctors were very negative about my future career, but I was able to have a career that I never dreamed about.

“So I am confident that I will recover again the foot and if the foot is better, I am confident that my tennis and my mentality will be there again soon.”

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