‘I’m going to keep fighting’ – Rafael Nadal won’t retire after French Open win, says Wimbledon is ‘priority’
Speculation swirled ahead of the French Open final that Rafael Nadal was set to retire after the tournament in Paris, with his PR manager moving to deny talk of a retirement press conference. The Spaniard secured his 14th title at Roland-Garros and 22nd Grand Slam with another clay-court masterclass against Casper Ruud. It is the first time he has won the first two majors of a season.
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'I’m always ready to play Wimbledon'
Nadal is already turning his attention towards the grass swing, with Wimbledon the next major on the horizon.
The 36-year-old says he will play at SW19 if he can survive on anti-inflammatory medication, but said he would not take more injections to play in pursuit of a title he won in 2008 and 2010.
"Wimbledon is a priority. If I am able to play with anti-inflammatories, yes [I will play], but with anaesthetic injections, no [I won’t play]," he told a press conference.
"I don’t want to put myself in that position again. It’s not a philosophy I want to follow.”
He added: "Wimbledon is not a tournament I want to miss, it’s not a tournament anyone wants to miss. I love Wimbledon. I’ve had a lot of success there. A player like me, I’m always ready to play Wimbledon.”
Nadal now has a staggering 22 Grand Slam singles titles to his name, which puts him two clear of his great tennis rivals Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in the all-time race. It is also the first time Nadal has won the Australian Open and the French Open in the same year.
“I would think it must be [the sweetest title for Nadal]," said Eurosport expert Mats Wilander.
"First of all, he didn’t know if he was going to be able to play, every morning when he woke up. But now [we must] focus on not 14… but 22!
"He’s two ahead of Novak and Roger now, and this could be the reason that he goes down as the greatest player of all time. Again, he’s so humble and in the present moment that it seems like he’s going to keep going."
'The legend continues to grow!' - Watch Nadal win 14th French Open title
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