Rafael Nadal 'doesn't want to stick around' after US Open loss as retirement plan mooted

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Rafael Nadal ‘may not want to stick around’ in tennis after being ‘beaten up’ by Frances Tiafoe in his US Open fourth-round defeat according to former player Wally Masur. The Australian has suggested that the 22-time Grand Slam champion may look to retire after winning one more French Open given the quality of the new wave of youngsters that are coming through.

Nadal struggled to match the pace of Tiafoe in the fourth-round match with the American picking up a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory on home soil. It was the Spaniard’s first loss in a major tournament this year having won the Australian Open and followed it up with his customary success in France before being forced to pull out of Wimbledon with an abdominal injury ahead of his semi-final with Nick Kyrgios. 

With young stars like Carlos Alcaraz coming through Nadal’s stint at the very top of tennis could be about to come to an end. At 36 years old conversations have naturally been raised about an impending retirement, especially as the tennis icon looks forward to welcoming his first child later this year. 

Now, Masur thinks the defeat against Tiafoe could accelerate any retirement plans, arguing Nadal was unable to match the world No 26’s speed. 

“He was beaten up today by Tiafoe,” the Aussie told WA Today. “Tiafoe took it to him, he had more power off the forehand and certainly matched his physicality. 

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“I think we are still seeing a changing of the guard,” he said. “We’re talking about Alcaraz, Sinner, Tiafoe as the next wave while Nick [Kyrgios] is also starting to find his feet. There is a changing of the guard but it just hasn’t fully changed yet.” 

The US Open will see a new male grand slam champion after Marin Cilic was knocked out by Alcaraz late last night. Those left within the competition will feel it is their best chance to win a major in many years given the dominance enjoyed by Nadal and co. 

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