Rafael Nadal has said he is not afraid to face retirement and insisted he will wholeheartedly accept ending his professional tennis career once the time comes.
In an interview with El Español, Nadal talked about approaching the end of his illustrious tennis career following his early exit at the 2016 Australian Open in Melbourne. Nadal said he was not scared of retiring, considering all he has achieved in his career, but insisted it will come as late as possible.
“I am not scared for what happens next,” Nadal said, reports Tennis. ”There are things that motivate me and they go beyond the sport; things that make me happy.”
Nadal suffered a stunning loss in the first round of the 2016 Australian Open against compatriot Fernando Verdasco. The Spaniards relived their intense rivalry at the first Grand Slam event of the year, but produced a different result, with Verdasco prevailing on a five set match that lasted for more than four hours.
Prior to his Australian Open campaign, Nadal was expected to have a successful stint in Melbourne after consistently playing well since last year's China Open. Despite starting the 2016 season on a low, the “King of Clay” believes he is in the right track to having a more successful year than 2015, when he did not won any major titles for the first time in his career.
“The past few months have been a consistently high level and the level I hope to be at,” Nadal said, reports the ATP’s official website. “This defeat is stumbling block that I have to accept in this good spell. I do accept it and I will try to get back on the right track.”
Nadal, a 14-time Grand Slam winner, hopes to bounce back from his stunning loss when he competes in his next tournament in Rio De Janeiro on Feb. 15 at the Rio Open.