RAFAEL NADAL has revealed he once thought he’d have retired by now but admits he wants to continue playing for as long as he’s happy.
Nadal will turn 32 in June and is guaranteed to enter the tennis Hall of Fame when his career is finished.
But injuries have taken a toll on his career with problems forcing him to miss many weeks of competition. And last month, Nadal was forced to retire from the Australian Open in the quarter-finals against Marin Cilic when he suffered a thigh injury.
The likes of Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka are all struggling after an injury-hit 2017.
Rafael Nadal still wants to compete for as long as he feels happy.
But Nadal insists he is still enjoying life on the tour and isn’t done fighting for major honours.
He said: “I’m not tired of playing; I'm fortunate and happy to be in this situation at 31 years old.
"Years ago, I didn't think I'd be where I am today. I figured that at this point, I'd be retired and dedicating myself to something else.
“But now, I'm keeping the illusion alive that I can still get better and better.
“I still have the drive to get up every morning and train with the aim to improve.
“For as long as that lasts, I'll keep enjoying my time on the Tour and competing week in and week out."
Nadal was forced to retire from his Australian Open quarter-final against Marin Cilic because of a thigh injury but he said this week he could return to action at the Mexican Open in Acapulco at the end of the month.
Nadal will play at the Queens Club this summer in London.
Rafael Nadal says he is planning to play in the Wimbledon warm-up event at Queen's Club this year.
The Spaniard has sat out the event for the last two years, having been injured in 2016 before deciding to prioritize rest after his French Open victory last summer.
But the 2008 winner hopes to take part in this year's tournament, which gets underway on June 18.
Nadal said: "I am very excited to communicate that I am going to come to Queen's in 2018, it is going to be the 10th anniversary of my victory in 2008.
"It's a great memory, winning there and three weeks later winning Wimbledon. It was an unforgettable year.
"I am very excited to be coming back and playing Queen's again."