Former world No.1 Rafael Nadal has issued a warning to himself and Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer that they are in the final stages of their career.
Rafael Nadal will turn 33 in June and two months later in August, Federer will turn 38. Djokovic, 31, will turn a year older in on May 22.
Even though there is a huge age gap between Federer and the other two – Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic – the Spaniard hopes that he does not have to retire from tennis anytime soon.
"Things are not eternal, years go on and we are in the final stage of our career. It's a fact. I hope it doesn't happen soon. But I am convinced I can be happy without tennis as well," Rafael Nadal told Banco Sabadell, as reported by Tennis World USA.
Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer have collectively won 52 Grand Slam titles between them. The Swiss tennis ace leads the list with 20 titles. Rafael Nadal has won 17 and Novak Djokovic has 15 Grand Slam titles.
Over the years, Rafael Nadal has enjoyed great moments on the pitch with both Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. The record holder of the French Open says he shares a good relationship with the duo on and off the court.
"I appreciate them for the many experiences we shared. We had a relationship of full respect on and off the court. This is a game: you win, lose, it's part of our lives," he added.
Rafael Nadal lost to Novak Djokovic at the 2019 Australian Open final. Nadal says he takes defeat in good spirit.
"I am a good loser. Losses hurt me, obviously, but I still had excitement and passion," said Rafael Nadal.
Meanwhile, Australia's 20-year-old Alex de Minaur says playing tennis when Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are still active is an honour for him.
"It's a true honour for me. It means that I am delivering very good tennis, in 2018 I felt well on the Tour and it gives me confidence. I am believing in myself, in my game and I am trying to play good matches," De Minaur told Medio Tiempo and was reported by Tennis World USA.
On his childhood and his favourite tennis player, De Minaur said: "I was born in Australia, my father is from Uruguay and my mother is from Spain, we moved to Alicante a few years ago, we were there and then in Australia back to back."
"As a kid, I admired Lleyton Hewitt a lot and I was watching his matches, he helped me a lot and I think that he is a player I identify with and I try to have his qualities as a player."