"The time has come for him to let go": Barbara Schett suggests Rafael Nadal to call in quits ahead of French Open because of fitness concerns

Friday, 24 May 2024 at 07:07
Former Austrian tennis player Barbara Schett believes that it is time for Spain’s Rafael Nadal to ‘let it go’ ahead of the French Open. The 37-year-old is often regarded as one of the most successful player in the history of men’s tennis in the Open era, having won as many as 22 Grand Slam titles in his illustrious career.
Nadal has struggled with fitness concerns in recent years, and because of this, he announced back in 2023 that the 2024 season would be his last at the very top.
Schett was recently quoted in a report where she expressed her opinion and suggested the former world number one to call it quits as things are already getting hard.
“Everybody is hoping that Rafa is going to play, is going to compete,” she said. “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
“We know he’s had niggles, he probably didn’t feel 100 per cent 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.
“I think that probably the time has come for him to let go because I don’t think he would want to be around if his body is not 100 per cent. And to be honest at the age of 37 it’s not going to get easier, it’s just going to get harder and harder.”
Rafael Nadal has struggled with fitness in the recent past. 
“We’ve seen how difficult this comeback has been for him, when you’re out for nearly a year and haven’t played much then it’s kind of like a slow ball reaction where it’s just one niggle after the other and that’s just the way it is in regards of the body. He did feel quite good in the tournaments he has played but obviously the match in Rome against Hurkacz, I think that put him back.
“That was pretty frustrating for him because he basically almost got hit off the court. Everything was a little bit too fast for him, he was one step too slow which I think is completely normal. You can’t, at that age, be out for so long and come back and keep winning all the time. He’s done that in the past but this is a different time for him now.”

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