Tennis superstar Rafael Nadal has revealed that he could call time on his illustrious 21-year career as soon as the end of the French Open due to a flare up of his foot injury.
The world No.5 put on an inspirational display to defeat fierce rival Novak Djokovic in the quarter finals despite the chronic injury that has plagued him since 2005.
The Spaniard toppled the highest seeded men’s player, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(4) on his favourite clay surface in a four set epic battle that lasted more than four hours in Paris.
Nadal was forced to comeback from a 5-2 deficit in the fourth set to land himself a spot in the semi-finals where he will play world No.3 Alexander Zverev.
The 35-year-old, who will celebrate his 36th birthday on Friday, remained tight-lipped about playing future Grand Slams in his post-match courtside interview.
“To win against Novak there’s only one way — to play at your best since the first point until the last,” the 13-time French Open champion, said in front of a Nadal-favoured crowd.
“And tonight it was one of this magic nights for me. Unexpected level.
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“Without a doubt there’s no other place like this one for me. It’s the most important court of my career, the most special one.
“And as I said, for me to feel the love of everyone here in Paris means everything to me.”
Meanwhile, Djokovic has played down Rafael Nadal’s injury issues, saying he looked ‘100% physically fit’ in Tuesday night’s French Open quarter-final, while he claims almost the entire crowd were on the Spaniard’s side.
But Djokovic appeared to play down the severity of Nadal’s injury issues, saying he did not see any signs of discomfort out on court, and suggested the Spaniard always finds a way to raise his game when it matters.
‘I think the crowd contributed a lot to the turnaround in the fourth set,’ said the Serb. ‘They were 99.9% by his side and they lifted him up in crucial moments. They helped him to find his energy.’
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