Alex Corretja: I don’t think it is going to be end of Rafael Nadal after French Open

Alex Corretja believes that Rafael Nadal is not necessarily thinking about ending his career after the French Open but noted that whatever happens the Spaniard “is going to last forever.”

Nadal, 36, had a brutal end to his Australian Open campaign as he suffered a 6-4 6-4 7-5 loss to Mackenzie McDonald while clearly struggling with an injury.

Nadal, who was hampered by a hip injury, refused to retire the match although it was pretty clear that he was nowhere near his best level.

“We know that Rafa is going to try until the end of his career, whatever he feels. So I don’t necessarily feel that he’s going to retire after Roland-Garros, he’s going to go day-by-day. He actually said on Eurosport in Spain something like ‘I’m going to continue until I see that I’m not going to be able to continue playing’. So I don’t think it’s going to be the end of Rafa after Roland-Garros,” Corretja told Eurosport. 

Corretja on if this was Nadal’s last appearance in Australia

After the match was over, Nadal waved an emotional goodbye to fans at Rod Laver Arena.

Nadal, 36, hasn’t had it easy with injuries in the last few years and Corretja admits the Spaniard’s act following the defeat might have been an indication that he will not be returning to Australia as a pro tennis player ever again. 

“It made me feel a little bit weird when he went into the middle of the court to say goodbye, the way he did it, it made me feel like maybe he’s thinking ‘OK, this is the end in Australia’. I think the whole Nadal team was there to also show respect to Rafa because I think he deserved it. He tried until the end even if he felt that he had no chance to win the match. So that’s why I think they paid tribute to him,” Corretja said.

At the start of the 2023 season, Nadal was directly asked if this was his last trip to Australia.

Nadal responded by saying “you never know” but also added “hopefully not.”