Rafa Roundup: Ashleigh Barty shares her admiration for Rafael Nadal after shock retirement

Illustration by Büşra Öztürk


“I don’t have the physical drive, the emotional want and everything it takes to challenge yourself at the very top of the level any more. I am spent,” she told good friend and former doubles partner Casey Dellacqua in her retirement interview video. The following day the 15-time title winner elaborated on her decision in a press conference and took a moment to praise Rafael Nadal for his ability to stay motivated.

“You think of Rafael Nadal as someone whose longevity in the sport has been undeniable,” the recent Aussie Open champion said. “He’s been amazing for the sport of tennis. For me as a fan to see him do that over such an extended period has been a pleasure.” But it was never going to be the same for Barty, whose coach admitted he knew the 25-year-old wouldn’t be chasing endless Grand Slam wins lke the Spaniard.

In a recent interview with AS.com, David Ferrer spoke about the possibility of Rafael Nadal playing at the 2022 Barcelona Open.

David Ferrer, the new tournament director of the Barcelona Open, said he was confident Rafael Nadal could recover from his rib injury in time to defend his title at the ATP 500 event.

“I am calm, really. I think Rafa has time to recover before the gravel tour,” said Ferrer.

With the Spaniard absent in Miami, Raducanu paid a subtle tribute to him and hinted that she was a Nadal fan by adoring his bull-logo cap. Speaking in her post-match press conference, she admitted it was tough to lose the three-hour battle with the world No 53. “I mean, it was a long match. Very long rallies. I thought that she played really good. There was some good tennis on both sides, to be honest, but yeah, obviously it sucks to lose that one,” she said.

Tennis Majors brings you, tennis enthusiasts, a pop quiz to test your tennis knowledge. Today, let’s replay Rafa Nadal’s brilliant start to the season while he’s resting at home in Spain during the Miami Masters.


  1. Just heard that as Zverev got through his match today, he goes back to no.3 in the rankings on Monday and Rafa returns to no.4. Not that it matters as Rafa wasnt going to play Miami before his injury anyway. Get better Rafa we are missing you already. Vamos.

  2. Well its been seven days since the IW final and eight days since the injury to Rafa’s rib in the semi. I’m hoping to soon hear that Rafa no longer feels pain when he breathes.

    Has anyone seen or heard anything since the interview with his doctor? Thanks.

  3. I have not been a fan/follower of women’s tennis since Martina and Chrissy were battling it out. I loved Steffi Graff and watched her. NEVER liked the Williams’ at all. Liked Sharapova but wasn’t “devoted” to watching her. Maybe watched 3 or 4 Barty matches total. Needless to say, I am a RAFA fan 100% and will not know what to do with myself when he retires (in at least a few more years!). I do like Tsitsipas… He is a dead ringer for my son so I’m partial… Anyway, the best part of this article was the proclamation that Rafa should be fine for Barcelona!!!! Yay!! Praying for quick and complete healing! Vamos Rafa!

  4. I am confused by her early retirement. Seems that this is a very successful short lived career that ended prematurely . Schocking to say the least . ? I was confused when Bjork retired young and other superstars in other sports . Rafa ,on the other hand , craves the competition and I do hope for an early return as soon as possible . He will never be 100% as he’s 36 and played alot of physical tennis . The grind takes it’s toll but winning lifts the spirit and keeps you young and thirsty .

  5. Ash and Rafa are both wonderful role models and champions.Hoping that Rafa will nod return before he’s fully recovered. We want a fully fit Rafa for RG. Wishing Ash every happiness in the next stage of her life. 🇪🇸🇦🇺⭐️⭐️👏👏🍀

  6. It was the right time for her when she on top of her game l wish her all the very best

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