Rafael Nadal drops retirement hint after epic win

Rafael Nadal drops retirement hint after an epic win in French Open fourth round

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Rafael Nadal drops retirement hint after an epic win in French Open fourth round

Rafael Nadal dropped retirement hit after beating Felix Auger-Aliassime in a five-set thriller in the fourth round of French Open.

In a front of a packed crowd on Court Philippe Chatrier, Nadal overcame an onslaught from the Canadian to win 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 after four hours and 23 minutes.

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Nadal, who will soon turn 36, has been struggling with a recurring foot injury since last year.

“I am in [the] quarter-finals of Roland Garros,” Nadal said.

“Two weeks and a half ago, even if I had good hopes, positive hopes after Rome, I [didn’t even] know if I would be able to be here.

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“So just enjoying the fact that I am here for one more year,” he said, hinting at retirement.

“And being honest, every match that I play here, I don’t know if [it is] going to be my last match here in Roland Garros in my tennis career. That’s my situation now.”

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Next up for the 13-time champion will be World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who has handed the lefty two of his three losses at the clay-court major.

Nadal explained that it was a “tough process” dealing with his foot injury. In recent weeks he has explained that the injury is something that will not go away.

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The injury had flared up at the Rome Masters as well, where he faded against Denis Shapovalov after winning the first set.

“That’s why I am just trying to enjoy as much as possible and fight as much as I can to keep living the dream that is [to] keep playing tennis and be back in a very advanced round of Roland Garros, playing against the World No. 1,” the 35-year-old said.

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“Let’s see. I hope to be able to give myself a chance to play at the highest level possible.”

Nadal is now a jaw-dropping 109-3 at Roland Garros, where he will face Djokovic for the 10th time and 59th time overall.

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Although Djokovic leads their head-to-head 30-28, Nadal has claimed seven of their nine meetings on the Parisian terre battue.

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