Rafael Nadal not targeting Grand Slam titles for his 'final' ATP Tour season

Rafael Nadal not targeting Grand Slam titles for his 'final' ATP Tour season

Rafael Nadal says he is not targeting French Open and Australian Open titles but has not ruled out the possibility of victory as he inches closer to his return.

"Yes, I want to play again and I'd like to become competitive again, but the goal is not to come back and win the French Open or the Australian Open, don't get me wrong," said the 37-year-old.

"I'm perfectly aware that, at this point in my life, all that is a long way off. But I'm not saying it™s impossible - anything can happen very quickly in sports."

Whilst the Spaniard seemed reluctant to aspire to add to his record 14 Roland Garros titles as well as two Australian Open titles, he has not ruled out continuing playing beyond next season.

"I maintain that 2024 will probably be my last year, but I can't confirm it," he responded to journalist Juanma Castaño.

"I see the state of my body right now, but I don™t know how it will be in three or four months. Maybe I won't be able to play at a high level, maybe I will but without being well enough to be 100%, or it will be perfectly recovered and I'll feel full of energy to carry on (beyond 2024)."

Nadal also provided a bit more clarity on his anticipated return following long-time coach and Uncle Toni Nadal's recent comments to ElDesmarque de Cuatro that his nephew "is targeting returning to the courts for the 2024 Australian Open".

"I hope to know more precisely where I stand mid-November, so I can draw up a roadmap," explained the three-time US Open champion.

"Ideally, I'd like to be able to compete at the highest level. If that's the case, I'll use that opportunity to play the tournaments that interest me most. In the meantime, I'm working, and then my body and head will give me the answers."

Nadal, an ardent Real Madrid football supporter, recently did a documentary with Movistar Plus+, where he commented on the club's summer transfer window star signing and Kylian Mbappe remaining at Paris Saint-Germain instead of joining the Spanish giants.

"Maybe one more striker would be good, I also think that. A spectacular signing like [Jude] Bellingham has been made," said Nadal, before going on to defend France's star striker.

"What obligation did Mbappé have to come? Madrid is Madrid. Madrid is bigger than any player. That is the reality. Mbappé also has no obligation to come to Madrid when we Madrid fans want Mbappé to come."

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