Toni Nadal has lamented the season endured by his nephew Rafael after what he described as a campaign "marred by continual inconvenience".
The 36-year-old pulled off two memorable triumphs in winning both the Australian Open - very much against the odds - and his 14th crown at Roland-Garros.
Nadal has also now moved up to No. 2 in the ATP world rankings, but Toni still believes it has been a frustrating season in many regards with injuries derailing his other opportunities at Wimbledon and the US Open.
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The question of a potentially impending retirement lingered for much of the year for Nadal, particularly when he was sidelined with persistent niggles, and Toni says his nephew will continue as long as he can challenge for major titles.
“I think that as long as he feels he has a chance of winning, he will continue,” Toni Nadal told Diario AS.
“When he sees that he has no options, if he goes to a tournament and has no chance of winning, I don’t think he will play. In the end, he has won too much to fold badly.
“How much time does Rafa have left? I don’t know, it will clearly depend on his rivals, on his body.
“Rafael plays for him, he doesn’t think about whether Carlos Alcaraz, David Ferrer or even Djokovic is there."

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From Toni's perspective, it was a fine year, but it could have been "an extraordinary season" had Rafael not seen the latter part of it blighted by physical issues.
“It could have been an extraordinary season, but it has been marred by the continual inconvenience he has had," he said.
“The results went well because he won Australia and Roland-Garros, but you leave with a bitter taste in your mouth.
“At Wimbledon, he couldn’t play a semi-final when he was playing well and was a clear candidate for the title; there were also problems in New York.
“What an athlete wants above all else is to be well and play, and also win.”
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