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Rafael Nadal reveals how close he was to retiring just weeks before Wimbledon

Nadal booked his place in the third round at Wimbledon on Thursday night (Picture: Getty)

Rafael Nadal has admitted he was close to retirement just weeks before Wimbledon as he remains on course for his third Grand Slam this year.

Nadal booked his place in the third round at Wimbledon with a victory over Ricardas Berankis on Thursday evening.

The Spaniard came into the competition having not played a single competitive match since winning the French Open earlier this month, with a foot injury disrupting his preparation plans having battled through the pain barrier at Roland Garros.

At 36, Nadal is fully aware he is approaching the end of his career but remains on his quest for a remarkable calendar-year Grand Slam having also won the Australian Open in January.

While he was until very recently ready to walk away from the sport, the 22-time Grand Slam winner insists he will have no fear when that day comes.

Nadal has ‘no fears’ over retirement (Picture: Getty)

‘My philosophy is couple of weeks ago I was close to it [retirement],” Nadal told a press conference. ‘Now I don’t feel that way (smiling). That’s my philosophy.

‘It’s something that I am not… I never had fear about that day. I think I am happy that I had a very happy life outside of tennis, even if tennis is a very important part of my life for the last 30 years.

‘I have been happy outside of tennis, without a doubt. I have a lot of things that I like to do away from tennis, so I am not worried about that. But, of course, when that day arrives, going to be a change. All the changes in this life takes a while. You need to adapt to the changes.

‘But it’s normal that the people talks about retirement of the great athletes because in some way the athletes that have been for such a long time in the top of the game, even more in more popular sports, become part of the life of so many people. Happens to me the same with some football players, with golf players.

‘I mean, for example, a person that I love to see, Tiger Woods playing. Now I’m not able to see Tiger Woods playing that often. In some way, that’s a change in my life, too.

‘Probably people will think the same like me, as a fan, when Roger [Federer] is not playing, when Novak [Djokovic] is not playing, when I am not playing, or when any football or basketball or any sport are not playing, because they become part of the daily life of the people because they are an inspiration.’


MORE : ‘It’s extremely difficult’ – Andy Murray hopes to return to Wimbledon next year but admits injuries will have final say


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