Rafael Nadal shares ‘selfish’ view on Serena Williams’ upcoming retirement with GOAT claim

Rafael Nadal has shared his feelings on Serena Williams’ upcoming retirement after the 23-time Grand Slam champion gave a Vogue interview revealing the “countdown” to the end of her career was on. The pair have both spent the better part of the last two decades at the top of the game and the Spaniard shared his gratitude for all Williams has done for the sport.

Williams sent shockwaves through the tennis world when she revealed that her retirement was imminent in a recent Vogue interview and cover shoot. While the American has not given a date for the end of her career, many believe she will call it a day at the conclusion of the upcoming US Open.

Along with her sister Venus and the Big Three, she has often been regarded as the ‘greatest of all time’ in tennis and as an athlete transcending sport. And one of her fellow former world No 1’s and multi-Grand Slam champions has now spoken out on her upcoming retirement.

Nadal commented on the end of Williams’ career for the first time as he returned to the Cincinnati Masters for the first time in five years, and said he “selfishly” didn’t want to see the 40-year-old leave the sport. “She is one of the greatest sports [people] of all time,” the Spaniard said of the 73-time title winner, noting that she had provided him with “plenty of memories”.

Williams turned pro back in 1995 and won her first Grand Slam singles title four years later, while Nadal turned pro in 2001 and won his first Major in 2005. After spending years dominating the WTA and ATP Tours, the 36-year-old said: “I feel lucky to share a tour for a long period of time with her.
“Of course, from a selfish point of view it’s sad that she’s leaving the tour but, on the other hand, we can’t thank her enough for all the things that she did for our sport.” While the ATP world No 3 didn’t want to see his colleague leave the tour, he wished her well for the future.

“I think she’s an amazing inspiration for a lot of people around the world and I think she deserves to choose whatever works for her better at this stage of her life,” he added. “So I wish her all the best.”
Both Nadal and Williams are competing in Cincinnati next week, where the Spaniard is making his comeback from an abdominal injury that saw him forced to pull out of Wimbledon on the eve of his semi-final. The 2013 champion admitted that the issue could still be “dangerous” but was excited to be back at the tournament after five years.

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