The winner of twenty-two Grand Slam titles, Rafael Nadal witnessed an early elimination from the 2023 Australian Open, struggling a straight-sets defeat towards Mackenzie McDonald within the second spherical. Nadal struggled to even full the match, struggling a hip difficulty within the second set. The Spaniard even took a medical timeout earlier than returning to the court docket however could not play on the tempo he often does. Giving a reasonably brutal evaluation of the stage Nadal’s profession has come, the legendary Boris Becker stated that his “days are numbered”.
Becker hailed Nadal as “one of the most important sportsmen of the last 25 years” however feels the Australian Open 2nd Round exit was his first step in the direction of retirement.
“We’ve been talking about the change of generation for a long time, and then Nadal comes along last year and wins not only in Melbourne but also Paris,” Becker stated on Eurosport Germany’s Matchball Becker present.
“The question was: Will he play until he’s 40? I don’t think so. Yesterday was already the first step towards his retirement.
“An harm like that’s exhausting, and at this age, it takes even longer to get again into form. I hope and pray that he’ll get effectively quickly and that we’ll see him trying recent once more in Paris on the newest, however I believe his days are numbered,” Becker further said.
Hailing Nadal, Becker said that the 36-year-old has changed the way the sport is perceived. While retirement seems close, Becker has no doubt that Nadal will pick up the racquet again.
“He isn’t solely a tennis legend, he’s a sports activities legend. He is likely one of the most necessary sportsmen of the final 25 years. He has modified tennis and made it much more common in his dwelling nation of Spain.
“He can become the president if he wants to. I think there would be a big gap if Rafa doesn’t play anymore, but I think he will pick up a racquet again.
Nadal has admitted that he will be away for a few weeks, looking after his health and fitness. Boris expects the veteran star to be back, especially for the French Open which will be his ‘priority’.
“The clay court docket season will probably be his precedence. If he’s match, he’s nonetheless my favorite for the French Open, however even Rafael Nadal will get older ultimately.”
“We talked for a very long time in regards to the change of generations – we’re watching it stay proper now,” he said.
“Roger Federer is not taking part in and there are plenty of query marks behind Nadal now.
“I think he will want to play Paris again. But I don’t know if he will take on Australia again. That’s why we should celebrate him as long as we have him.”
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