Rafael Nadal has suggested that this year’s French Open could be his last, with injury continuing to plague the former world No 1 despite his scintillating quarter-final victory over Novak Djokovic.
Nadal has lifted the men’s singles trophy 13 times at Roland Garros, making him the most successful player in the history of the tournament. No player has won that many titles at any of the other Grand Slams, and Nadal holds more major trophies than any men’s player (21).
The Spaniard moved a step closer to a 14th French Open trophy by seeing off rival Djokovic on Tuesday, defeating the world No 1 in four sets in a late finish on Court Philippe-Chatrier.
Each step is becoming increasingly difficult for Nadal, however, as the 35-year-old – who turns 36 on Friday – continues to battle a chronic foot injury.
“I’m very clear on the fact that I don’t know what can happen [after the French Open],” Nadal said after his win against Djokovic.
“You know what I have with my foot, and if we don’t find solutions, it will be difficult. For the moment we haven’t, so I give myself a chance.
“I don’t know what will happen after this tournament. I’m very clear about that, I don’t have to hide anything at my age.
“I have what I have in my foot and if we don’t find a solution, it’s difficult for me. At the moment we haven’t found a solution.
“Playing the semi-finals gives me a lot of energy, and we’ll see how it goes down here [with my foot].”
Nadal is set to face Alexander Zverev in the final four, while the other semi-final will be determined on Wednesday.
Andrey Rublev faces Marin Cilic in one of the remaining quarter-finals, before Casper Ruud takes on Holger Rune.