American tennis legend John McEnroe has made his prediction as to when Rafael Nadal will retire, saying, “As soon as he feels like he can’t win majors. He’s going to stop.”
Ahead of the Australian Open, Alexander Zverev caused a stir as he made the bold speculation that the Spaniard would retire after Roland-Garros. But Nadal was quick to deny it and said he is not retiring from the sport at least in the next six months.
“It would be tough to write Rafa off at any point, given that he did so well last year. I didn’t expect him to do that last year. So, I continue to be amazed by him. It’s amazing how much hunger he has still. With all the success that he’s had. The other players should look at him. And I was like, ‘this guy tries harder than anyone I’ve ever seen. I’ve got to try harder’,” McEnroe told Eurosport.
“Obviously, at 36, your body can only take so much; at some point it is going to give out. Will it be this year? I don’t know. Next year? How much longer can he do this at this level? And he doesn’t want to be, you know, 10 in the world or 20. As soon as he, I think, feels like he can’t win majors. He’s going to stop.”
Nadal won his second Australian Open title last year, taking him to a record 21 Majors ahead of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer at 20 at the time. Then, he extended this record with his 14th Rolland Garros title.
In the 2023 Australian Open, the Spaniard will begin his title defence with the first-round match against Britain’s Jack Draper on Tuesday at the Rod Laver Arena.