Monday, December 4, 2023

Chris Evert: ‘Warrior’ Rafael Nadal will probably be winding down in next few years

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Chris Evert called Rafael Nadal “a warrior” and acknowledged his astonishing motivation to stay at the top for so long but noted this might be the time when the Spaniard finally starts to “wind down.” Despite dealing with several injuries and setbacks in 2022, Nadal was able to win two Grand Slams.

Nadal, who became a father for the first time in October, was hampered by a hip injury at the Australian Open and he hasn’t played since. Considering Nadal’s recent injury history and the fact that he is 36 years old and now a father, Evert believes the Spaniard’s perspective has changed.

With that being said, Evert suggests Nadal will now probably carefully select his schedule and prioritize being healthy and ready for the Grand Slams.

Evert on Nadal: He’ll probably be winding down in the next couple of years

“I think now that he is a father, he has a different perspective and he has something to go to after tennis.

His body has so much wear and tear that now a simple injury is not going to be simple anymore and they are going to come at a faster rate. I think you can safely say in the next few years, he will probably be winding down. I don’t want to retire anybody, but in the next few years, I think just because of the injuries and having a family, it would not surprise me if he started to wind down.

The injuries have come in the last few years at a higher rate. So that is sort of a tell-tale sign that his body may be more fragile, maybe breaking down a little bit. It is totally understandable with his style of play, and I don’t mean that in any kind of negative way, but the truth is in the pudding.

I mean, he has been injured. So again, I don’t think he needs to guard against the mental or emotional part of his game. I think it is more just keeping his body as healthy as he can be. The French Open again, clay, longer rallies, longer matches, a target on his back.

That is going to be a real challenge for him,” Evert told Eurosport. Last week, Nadal announced his withdrawal from the Masters events in Indian Wells and Masters. Nadal hasn’t confirmed when he plans to play again but the general belief is that he is targeting the Monte Carlo Masters at the start of the clay season.

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