Rafael Nadal says he was 'close to retiring' as he battles into Wimbledon third round

Rafael Nadal is yet to hit his stride at Wimbledon, but he says it's nothing to do with his injured foot.

Rafael Nadal says he was 'close' to retirement just days before Wimbledon started, but he 'no longer feels that way.'

Nadal moved into the third round of the tournament with a 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 win over Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis on Thursday.

He is yet to fully hit his stride in SW19, although he says that is mainly due to not playing any grass tennis since 2019.

With him struggling to truly impress, many have been speculating that the treatment he has had in his foot injury may not have been as successful as first hoped.

The injury was so bad during Roland Garros that Nadal needed painkilling injections and refused to ruled out being forced to retire soon due to the problem.

However, he says things have no changed, saying: "My philosophy is couple of weeks ago I was close to it (retirement). Now I don't feel that way.

"That's my philosophy. It's something that I am not. I never had fear about that day.

"I think I am happy that I had a very happy life outside of tennis, even if tennis is a very important part of my life for the last 30 years.

"I have been happy outside of tennis, without a doubt. I have a lot of things that I like to do away from tennis, so I am not worried about that. But, of course, when that day arrives, going to be a change. All the changes in this life takes a while. You need to adapt to the changes."

When Nadal does eventually retire he will undoubtedly leave a huge void in tennis due to his massive popularity.

Rafael Nadal practicing at Wimbledon

"It's normal that the people talks about retirement of the great athletes because in some way the athletes that have been for such a long time in the top of the game," he said.

"Even more in more popular sports, become part of the life of so many people. Happens to me the same with some football players, with golf players.

"I mean, for example, a person that I love to see, Tiger Woods playing. Now I'm not able to see Tiger Woods playing that often. In some way, that's a change in my life, too.

"Probably people will think the same like me, as a fan, when Roger [Federer] is not playing, when Novak [Djokovic] is not playing, when I am not playing, or when any football or basketball or any sport are not playing, because they become part of the daily life of the people because they are an inspiration."

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