Rafael Nadal advised to emulate Federer and retire now

Rafael Nadal advised to emulate Federer and retire now

As Rafael Nadal prepares for what could be his last appearance at the French Open, he has been told that the time has come to “let go” of his tennis career. The Spaniard has spent the better part of the last two years sidelined by injuries.

Nadal has yet to fully commit to the French Open and previously hinted that he wouldn’t play unless he backs himself to go all the way. But things look promising as he has been on site for the last few days training ahead of the tournament and enjoyed a run to the last-16 at the Madrid Open.

Barbara Schett believes that the Parisian fans will get one last chance to see the 14-time champion in action. But she also told Express Sport that things aren’t getting easier for Nadal as she tipped him to copy Roger Federer with an emotional farewell at the Laver Cup.

“Everybody is hoping that Rafa is going to play, is going to compete. It’s his most successful tournament, he’s a legend there at the French Open. “I think we will see him there, I think he wants to step out there one more time,” the Eurosport pundit said. While the former world No. 7 wanted to see Nadal complete a fairytale return by winning the tournament again, she conceded that it was unrealistic.

Schett continued: “We know he’s had niggles, he probably didn’t feel 100 percent the last three events he’s played. But this is a special time for him as well, we know Roland Garros always gets the best out of him somehow and he’s won the title already with having had injections in his foot. And I’m hoping we’re going to see him and my heart wants him to win one more time but I’m not sure how realistic that is.”

While many thought Nadal could retire at the French Open, he has quashed those rumours by entering other tournaments including Wimbledon and the Laver Cup. During the recent Italian Open, he also clarified that he “never said [it’s] going to be my last tournament here.” But Schett, who will present the live Roland-Garros coverage on Eurosport and Discovery+ from the mixed-reality Cube studio, thinks it’s time for the 37-year-old to say goodbye.