Eurosport commentator Boris Becker believes Rafael Nadal may have started on the road to retirement after the Spaniard crashed out of the Australian Open second round.
Germany’s six-time Grand Slam winner is back on the air after being released from a British prison after serving seven months for fraudulent bankruptcy,
Becker painted a grim picture for the future of 22-time champion at the majors Nadal, who is now carrying another injury after exiting in Melbourne at the hands of American Mckenzie Mcdonald.
The 36-year-old Nadal faces around two months of rehab and recovery from the hip injury which plagued him at the first Grand Slam of 2023.
As usual, Becker had an opinion: “The question was: Will he play until he’s 40? I don’t think so. (The loss) was already the first step towards his retirement,”
The 55-year-old Becker, who retired at age 31, added:
“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.”
Becker predicted that Nadal may have played his last career match in Australia but would surely carry on for a few more French Opens, an event he has dominated over the past two decades..
“I think he will want to play Paris again,” Becker said. “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.”