Andre Agassi’s former coach Brad Gilbert has urged the media to stop asking questions about Rafael Nadal’s retirement, as the Spaniard has made it clear he still wants to play tennis. On Saturday, Nadal kicked off his 2023 Fed Cup season.
In his first match of the year, Nadal, 36, suffered a shock defeat as Cameron Norrie beat the Spaniard 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. After the match ended, Nadal was immediately asked about his retirement. Gilbert, who is best known for working with Agassi for nearly a decade, has urged tennis fans and the media to appreciate Nadal’s greatness rather than focus solely on when he will retire.
“Unfortunately, even after @RafaelNadal tells you to stop asking about my retirement, I’m going back to Melbourne. Memo appreciates his greatness and humility, and will let you know when the time is right,” Gilbert wrote on Twitter.
Unfortunately even after that @Rafael Nadal He tells you stop ???? He asks you questions about my retirement I’m going back to Melbourne Memo I appreciate his greatness and humility and he’ll let you know when the time is right ???????????????????? https://t.co/3LGjTkfz4t – Brad Gilbert (@bgtennisnation) December 31, 2022
What Nadal said after Nouri’s defeat
Nadal replied with a smile on his face but was clearly tired of the retirement questions.
“I lost my game. That’s great? Every time I go to a press conference, I feel like I have to retire. So you’re so worried about my retirement. I mean, now that’s not the case when the day comes, I’ll tell you.”
“Don’t keep retiring because I’m here to continue playing tennis,” Nadal told reporters after losing to Nuri. Moreover, Nadal did not want to be negative or pessimistic after losing his first match this year.
Nadal admitted that there are things he can improve on as he hopes to do better in his upcoming matches. “Well, it wasn’t a disaster at all. I can do things, of course, better, and I should,” said Nadal. In his next match Nadal will play against Alex de Minor.