Eurosport tennis expert Mats Wilander believes that Rafael Nadal can play for three or four more years if all goes well for the Spaniard. Nadal, 36, had another injury-plagued season in 2022, but was still able to win the Australian Open and French Open.
In 2022, Nadal proved that if he is healthy, he can still compete against the best players in the world and also win the biggest titles. «I think after you win your last Grand Slam tournament, you have about three or four years left, for sure, especially if you maintain your ranking in the top eight.
If you just won the Australian Open and the French Open in 2022, I would say that you are three or four years older. I don’t care if Rafa turns 40 in four years. I don’t think it will matter because they are going to keep in mind ‘hey kids, I’ve been doing this now since I was 17-18 years old,'» Wilander told Eurosport.
Wilander: Nadal knows what he is looking for
Nadal, who finished the season ranked No. 2 in the world, had a chance to finish as the year-end No. 1. However, when Nadal was asked about the possibility of ending the season as number 1, he said that being number 1 was no longer his top priority.
Nadal, who will turn 37 next June, made it clear that at this point in his career, Grand Slams are what matter mainly to him and not his ranking. «I think keeping his ranking at the top is going to be very difficult. Winning another Grand Slam is going to be easier, much easier, than being in the top three in the world rankings because you don’t need that.»
Rafa knows what he is looking for: he knows what he is looking for emotionally; he knows physically what he’s looking for,» Wilander added. After an injury-plagued 2021 season, Nadal was written off by many, but then he came back and proved everyone wrong.