Rafael Nadal has accepted that there is more to his life than tennis, but reiterated that he has no plans to hang up his boots as yet. The Spaniard had to pull out of his quarter-final clash against Marin Cilic in the Australian Open with a hip injury, which has set him back by upto three weeks.
However, Nadal is confident that the setback won't affect his calendar and is expected to play the Mexican Open, which starts on 26 February, before getting back into serious action in Indian Wells and Miami.
This is not the first time that the Spaniard has had a major setback, having had to pull out of the Paris Masters midway through the tournament and the ATP World Tour finals in the end of 2017 with a knee injury. The setback saw him having to forgo his participation in the Brisbane International and forced to make his way to Melbourne without any competitive tennis under his belt.
He paid the price for his hastiness as he could not finish the tournament while Roger Federer made his way into the finals to win his 20th slam, increasing his lead to four over the Spaniard. However, Nadal is not concerned with what is in store for the future and has revealed that he will keep playing as long as he is happy playing tennis.
"I am happy playing tennis. When the time comes to say goodbye, I'll know," Nadal said at a corporate event for Banco Sabadell, as quoted by the Express. "I have respect for everything that may happen. My life has more things than competing at the highest level."
Nadal now has a fight on his hands to keep his number one ranking intact amid competition from Federer, who is only 155 points behind him. However, the Spaniard has insisted that he will not go out of his way and put his body on the line to keep the number one spot.
"I'm not going to do crazy things to keep [the No 1 ranking], now my health is paramount," Nadal added.
However, should Nadal miss the Mexico Open, then Federer will have a chance to close the gap in his scheduled participation in the Dubai Championship, although he is unsure if he will travel to the Middle East.
"We were in talks with the [Dubai organisers] but when the [Australian Open] tournament started, I just said 'look, if it's okay, I'd like to decide after the tournament'," Federer said.
"That's an ideal scenario for me. After the tournament, I'll know how I feel... did I come out injured or not? So now we know what the situation is. It's possible I'll play in Dubai but it's also possible that maybe I just don't play anything.
"It depends on how the next week or so goes. Then I'll make a decision."