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Not Now: Rafael Nadal denies that he will follow Roger Federer by retiring despite…

Rafael Nadal has alleviated any fears that he may be retiring soon after his biggest rival Roger Federer ended his own career. The world No 2 admitted that this year had been “tough” for his family despite enjoying success by winning two Grand Slam titles.

Nadal recently joined long-time friend and rival Federer for his last dance at the Laver Cup. The 41-year-old played his final match in the doubles alongside the Spaniard before hanging up his racket, as Nadal could be seen sobbing when Federer’s retirement became a reality inside London’s O2 Arena.

It was a one-off appearance for the 22-time Grand Slam champion, who has not played since crashing out in the fourth round of the US Open and has no immediate plans to compete with the birth of his first child imminent. After Federer announced his retirement ahead of the team event, the 36-year-old opened up on his own career plans at a ceremony in which he received the Camino Real award from King Felipe VI.

Nadal recently joined long-time friend and rival Federer for his last dance at the Laver Cup. The 41-year-old played his final match in the doubles alongside the Spaniard before hanging up his racket, as Nadal could be seen sobbing when Federer’s retirement became a reality inside London’s O2 Arena.

It was a one-off appearance for the 22-time Grand Slam champion, who has not played since crashing out in the fourth round of the US Open and has no immediate plans to compete with the birth of his first child imminent. After Federer announced his retirement ahead of the team event, the 36-year-old opened up on his own career plans at a ceremony in which he received the Camino Real award from King Felipe VI.

“I hope it is not implied with this event and award that my career is over, far from it,” he said after receiving the honour at the end of September. Confirming he has no plans to retire, Nadal added: “At least that is not the intention. The intention is to continue carrying the name of Spain around the world, and competing.”

It comes after the 36-year-old admitted he didn’t know when he would next compete after his US Open defeat to Frances Tiafoe, saying at the time: “I need to go back [home], fix things and I don’t know when I’m going to come back. When I feel ready mentally to compete again… I will do it.”

His words came amid reports that his wife had suffered a health scare amid her first pregnancy, and Nadal confirmed there were still concerns at the Laver Cup after arriving later than the rest of his Europe teammates and withdrawing following his match with Federer citing personal issues.

Nadal again touched on the problems during the awards ceremony, saying: “This is a complicated year, because of family matters. For now I’m experiencing joys and difficult moments.” It is hoped that the Spaniard will compete before the end of the season, having already qualified for the ATP Finals in Turin, being held next month.

He may also play the Paris Masters 1000 at the end of the month, as one of the few Masters events he has never won. Nadal has announced an exhibition tour with world No 3 Casper Ruud in South America for November, giving way for him to play the ATP events in the weeks before.

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