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Rafael Nadal rubbishes retirement talks after comeback defeat at Mubadala Championship

Nadal, who made his 11th appearance at the competition, admitted that he would definitely want to return to Abu Dhabi for the event as long as he keeps playing Tennis.

Saurabh Ganguly Editor

Updated - 19 December 2021 9:59 pm

Rafael Nadal
Highlights
  • Nadal's 2021 season had come to an early end in August after he had aggravated his left foot injury.
  • The injury happened during his French Open semifinal defeat to eventual champion Novak Djokovic.

Tennis great Rafael Nadal rubbished the retirement talks around him and suggested that he would play at least for the next couple of years. He hinted at the same at a press conference after the Mubadala World Tennis Championship exhibition this weekend. The world number 6 succumbed to defeats in both the matches he played against Andy Murray and Denis Shapovalov.

The Spaniard had a rather positive approach to how things unfolded in this tournament and stated that he was looking forward to the next season after having successfully achieved what he had set out to achieve in this exhibition.

The goal is achieved: Nadal says despite defeat at Mubadala Championship

“Yeah maybe too tough to start after a long time,” Nadal joked while speaking of the quality of the opponents at the competition in Abu Dhabi.

“[Feeling] good, the goal is achieved. Be back on court, play two matches,” he added despite facing losses in both the fixtures.

“I spent more or less four hours on court during the last two days. Three days because the day before I practiced with Rublev,” he further said.

Nadal, who made his 11th appearance at the competition, admitted that he would definitely want to return to Abu Dhabi for the event as long as he keeps playing Tennis. It was here that he hinted that he is not hanging his boots anytime soon, giving himself “a couple of years” to continue featuring in this pre-season exhibition.

Hopefully I can keep coming during the next couple of years: Rafa

“I have been here plenty of times so the thing is, if I [am] still playing tennis, I am always super happy to be here playing, so hopefully I can keep coming during the next couple of years,” he stated.

“[It has] been a must-stop before the beginning of the next season and this year was no exception,” he added.

Notably, Nadal’s 2021 season had come to an early end in August after he had aggravated his left foot injury during his French Open semifinal defeat to eventual champion Novak Djokovic. Not only did the match end the season due to the injury but it also meant that Djokovic got close to the 20-Grand Slam title record which was previously tied between Roger Federer and Nadal.

By the end of the year, Djokovic not only has matched the other two greats with 20 Grand Slam titles but also had an opportunity to leave the other two behind him at the season-ending US Open and complete a record calendar slam. However, he failed to achieve the historic feat as he faced a defeat in the summit clash of the 2021 edition of the US Open against Daniil Medvedev of Russia.

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