Rafael Nadal believes he will not play again in Mexico, and will not defend his Acapulco title next year.
The 22-time Grand Slam victor believes that he will not be in the country next year, and hinted that he does not expect to be playing the following year either.
The 36-year-old won the Mexican Open for the fourth time this year when he beat Daniil Medvedev in the semi-final before emerging victorious against Cameron Norrie in the final.
Nadal is currently on an exhibition tour in Latin America after the conclusion of the regular tennis season, and he revealed he will not be back for the next campaign.
“It will most likely be the last time I play in Mexico, Acapulco 2023 is not on my calendar and the 2024 season seems far away,” he explained.
“Now is the time to enjoy this moment to the fullest and play in an emblematic setting, with many people and in a country where I have always felt loved.”
However, Nadal did not suggest that he would be retiring, but between the lines he may be reducing his activities as he gets closer to the end of his career to maintain his fitness, with injury problems blighting recent seasons.
“For me the main thing right now is to be able to get to the important tournaments in full physical condition,” he said.
“I continue to enjoy day-by-day and I continue to have goals that excite me at a professional level. I’m going to try to achieve them until my body or mind says enough. At the moment, that hasn’t happened so I want to continue.
“I am happy doing what I do, I love competing on the big stages and the love of the people encouraged me to continue.”
Meanwhile, Norwegian Casper Ruud has praised Nadal for the example he sets, and for his experience at the Rada Nadal Academy.
“You can learn everything from Rafa–from any type of shot to mentality and professionalism,” he said.
“When I arrived at the academy I was surprised by the intensity of each training session, and that has helped me to increase the intensity that I put into each practice. Rafa’s team and his family are incredible. They have always been with me and they do a spectacular job with a young community.”
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