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What makes it likely that Nadal will play in his 30’s?

Posted by tennisplanet on August 13, 2010

Given his physical problems / style of play, there appears to be a general consensus on how long Nadal’s career will be. Age 27 or 28 is the most pundits go for. All that is based on science, logic, reason and common sense rooted in Nadal’s history of knee and other problems.

But there’s another element which routinely and regularly makes all that logic and reason look not just bad but outright ridiculous. It happens every freaking day. It’s happening right now not too far from your mud hut / village. Have a clue? No, you don’t!!!!!!

Let me try the reverse gear first. See if you can catch it. Federer’s REAL problem is not the marriage, the twins, 29, forehand, backhand etc. He is, in reality, paying the price of not clearly defining his OWN goal on the tour. Instead, he has allowed existing benchmarks to dictate his drive. It’s common knowledge that Olympic athletes nearly fall apart after they achieve their life’s ambition of winning a gold at the games. Reason? They failed to set an equally challenging goal to replace the one they just conquered to keep the fire burning.

Federer’s taking everything after No. 15 AND the FO as gravy. Considering how huge these achievements were, you cannot fault Federer too much for not planning or thinking too far ahead of these massive milestones. There’s no question Federer even imagined getting there – EVER – forget at 28. Now that he has, the gravy component steps in to fill the gaping void provided by the absence of clearly defined set of goals past this phase. All other factors from marriage, twins etc. are just there to provide a hugely effective way to rationalize the set up.

Translation: Federer career is in a very real jeopardy of being cut short prematurely.

Did you freaking get it? Or do I have to essssssplain the freaking obvious? Geeeeeezzzzzzz!!!!!!!

Nadal is riding on that element leaving the tangible logic, reason, science etc. no power to affect his run. On current pace, Nadal is not likely to even come close to surpassing Federer at age 27. And that will leave him with enough motivation to ‘find a way‘ to carry on despite the ‘nearly guaranteed’ problems he will face as he ages.

Don’t believe it? There are thousands and thousands of instances when not just athletes but humans at any endeavor have overcome these ‘science’ obstacles to defy logic and reason and achieve that even doctors pronounced ‘impossible’. Heard of Lance Armstrong? You have to read his complete bio to fully appreciate the effort. Medically he should have died long time ago.

Freaking point is this: As long as Federer’s records are dangling as carrots, Rabbit Nadal WILL continue chugging – until he can no longer move. Just as Federer’s motivation has lost its intensity after overtaking Sampras, Nadal’s will not fade until he reaches or passes Federer’s. And since that ‘mathematically’ cannot happen into his late 20’s or early 30’s, Nadal will realize his ‘full’ tennis career despite all the naysayer prediction who are missing that irresistible intangible force.


16 Responses to “What makes it likely that Nadal will play in his 30’s?”

  1. Sophy said

    It sounds to me like you are worried about Nadal.

  2. MM said

    Really? Then how come no matter how much I want to get better, how many lessons I take from my pro down at the Broadmoor, how many sessions I have with my ball machine or just how freaking long I play, I’m not? Tell you why. Because I’m old, in great shape but dude, age will mess with you.

    And at the level of tennis that Nadal plays at, you can have all the will in the world and it’s not going to make up for losing that half a step.

    Add to that the very real problem what his style of play does to his knees NOW and in a few years, it’s going to be much worse.

    Finally, do you think every top tennis player, at their time, is concerned about being the GOAT? I started my affection for tennis just about the time Nadal won his first FO and he appears to be the same-I see no consuming desire to surpass Rog’s records.

    But what do I know?

    • Anonymous said

      “Because I’m old, in great shape but dude, age will mess you up.”

      Hear you! In my younger days (when jogging)I would aim to pass that man in front of me; these days my goal is to pass the walkers ahead of me! I know that no matter what I do, I will never run as fast as I did years ago!

  3. Anonymous said

    Federer said he thinks he can win at least 3 GS before career over. Don’t agree TP, Federer loves the game and don’t think he will continue to play just for the fun of!

  4. O said

    If Rafa wants to surpass Feds records, he needs to have baby now. Otherwise, with Feds twins already bouncing tennis balls, the Nadals will always play catch up.

  5. M said

    Rafa said some time ago that he couldn’t see himself playing past thirty.

    People can change, though …

    • Jenny said

      “People can change, though …” Agreed. Also, Rafa might just want a different, more rounded life when he’s thirty.

    • jett09 said

      It’s gonna be a sad day for me when Roger retires, then Rafa retires 😦

      • D.S.G. said

        I don’t even want to think about it.

        How lucky we are to be contemporaries of these two magnificent champions.

        God bless them.

      • jett09 said

        “How lucky we are to be contemporaries of these two magnificent champions.”

        Indeed D.S.G.

      • Somebody Else said

        Think of it this way: By then, they’ll have had a few more great moments and then inevitably been supplanted by some new tennis genius who’s racking up grand slam titles (as seems to be the case every decade), and won’t his contribution be fun to watch?

      • Chieko said


  6. O said

    The heal-all drink that Tony Nadal invented should keep Nadal playing as long as he wants.

  7. Bento said

    Federer is older now and that is clearly a limitation. Motivation just goes along with it, it is an extension of it, not something to compensate for.

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