Roger Federer set to play ‘special’ final match of career on Friday with Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal played his final exhibition match on Friday, hoping to play a “special” final match.
Rafael Nadal plays in his final exhibition tennis match next Friday. Rafa Nadal plays next Friday against Stan Wawrinka (AFP)
The 37-year-old retired during the fourth set of his quarter-final match against Juan Monaco of Spain in a tie with Roger Federer on Wednesday for the most number of Grand Slam wins by a male player (15) and a record 19 titles.
Nadal was competing in his final exhibition match, ending five years on the tour, and the winner of the match was to play Federer in a final.
The Spaniard is the only man in tennis history to have won three Olympic gold medals, four Grand Slams and made it to three Wimbledon finals.
He can claim the record for most Grand Slam titles only if Federer, Andre Agassi and Jimmy Connors fall in the rankings.
Nadal has been on the decline on the tour and has never met the expectations that he was in 2014 when he was world No.1.
He was ranked No.3 in the world and was expected to challenge the top two and become the first one to win in the year he turned 40.
He is not expected to play again this year, as he enters the new season with five Grand Slam titles to his name.
“This year is going to be special for me, I don’t know what the future holds,” Nadal said after his match on Wednesday.
“The last four or five years have been very very tough.
“I’ve won five grand slams. I’ve made four finals and won 19 grand slams, all on clay.
“I played a good match [Wednesday] and played the best tennis of my career, even against Roger.
“I don’t know how many more years I can play at my level, but I’m here to compete and to have a good year and to hopefully bring a trophy home to win the title.”
Nadal, who missed the 2013 and 2014 finals due to injury, has missed the final only once in his career, while he lost in three Grand Slam finals.
He last reached the semi-finals of the French Open in 2005,