Rafael Nadal might follow Roger Federer out the same exit door

Nadal might have the same exit strategy as Federer.
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Rafael Nadal, unlike Danielle Collins, has not said for certain that he will no longer play professional tennis after 2024. Maybe he does not want to say he is done because he might be able to get back into peak form, find a way to win an event such as the French Open and decide to continue playing. That is his right.

Nadal has not yet had a very good 2024, but there is still time. With every tournament he enters, he seems to do a bit better, including defeating Alex de Minaur at the Madrid Masters this past week after losing to de Minaur the previous two times the two have faced each other. The Spaniard seemingly just needs to get back into top tennis shape and then see how things go.

Plus, no athlete wants to have their bodies make the decision about whether they stay or leave. Age takes a toll on everyone, of course, but being forced to retire because of injuries is different than being beaten consistently by opponents. At least if one is no longer winning as many matches as they once were then that is the game telling them they need to go instead of their health.

Rafael Nadal might mirror Roger Federer's exit at the Laver Cup

Nadal has hinted that this year will be his last, however, and if he is making plans for it to be so then he appears to be following the same path as his former rival and current friend, Roger Federer, went down when Federer retired a couple of years ago. Federer had not played much before the 2022 edition of the Laver Cup but he decided to play one final match at the event and did so with Nadal as his doubles partner.

Nadal is attempting to play a bit more toward the end of his career than the Swiss great, but Nadal also recently made an announcement that he will participate in the 2024 edition of the Laver Cup. He will be on Bjorn Borg's Team Europe along with Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev. Ideally, if Nadal were going to make the Laver Cup his final event, as Federer did, maybe playing a doubles match with Novak Djokovic might be the way to go.

The truth is that Djokovic and Nadal have never had the same relationship that Federer and Nadal did so maybe a Nadal/Djokovic pairing would ring false. There is another player on Team Europe that might make sense for Nadal, though. That is young Spaniard, and current ATP No. 3, Carlos Alcaraz. One final match with Nadal teamed with Alcaraz could be a real-life transition of one generation to another with Nadal leaving and Alcaraz taking his spot.

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