'His days are numbered…': Boris Becker's bold retirement statement after Rafael Nadal's shock Australian Open exit
Rafael Nadal's early exit from Australian Open has led tennis legend Boris Becker to issue statements on the former's chances of bidding adieu to the sport.
Spain's Rafael Nadal suffered a shock exit from the Australian Open 2023 after getting defeated 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 to USA's Mackenzie McDonald in the second round of the tournament on Wednesday. Defending champion and No.1 seed Nadal sustained a hip injury during his loss in straight sets.
Of the big three in tennis- Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, Swiss legend Federer hung his racquet last year. And ever since, speculations are high over the forthcoming retirement of the other two superstars , especially 36-year-old Nadal.
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Nadal's early exit from Australian Open has led tennis legend Boris Becker to issue statements on the former's chances of bidding adieu to the sport. In an interaction on Eurosport Germany's Matchball Becker show, he said that Nadal's injury at the fag end of his tennis career might accelerate his retirement.
"We've been talking about the change of generation for a long time, and then Nadal comes along last year and wins not only in Melbourne but also Paris. The question was: Will he play until he's 40? I don't think so. Yesterday was already the first step towards his retirement," said Becker.
"An injury like that is hard, and at this age, it takes even longer to get back into shape. I hope and pray that he will get well soon and that we will see him looking fresh again in Paris at the latest, but I think his days are numbered," he added.
The German tennis legend further said that Nadal might not participate in Australian Open again. Although he remarked that Nadal would want to play in the French Open again.
“We talked for a long time about the change of generations - we're watching it live right now. Roger Federer is no longer playing and there are a lot of question marks behind Nadal now, Said Becker.
"I think he will want to play Paris again. But I don't know if he will take on Australia again. That's why we should celebrate him as long as we have him," he concluded.