Rafael Nadal will miss the French Open after failing to regain full fitness from a hip injury suffered at the Australian Open in January, the 14-times Roland Garros winner said on Thursday, adding 2024 could be the final year of his career.
The Spaniard announced his decision at a press conference on Thursday ahead of the start of the tournament on May 28th. “It’s not a decision I made, it’s a decision my body made,” he told reporters at his tennis academy in Mallorca.
“I need to stop for a while,” Nadal added, while also declining to set a firm date for his return. “Maybe two months, maybe three or four months.” The 22-time grand slam champion added that he hoped to play in Paris next year, but he expected the 2024 season to be his last on the ATP Tour.
“My goal and my ambition is to try and stop and give myself an opportunity to enjoy the next year that will probably be my last year in the professional tour,” Nadal said.
“That is my idea but I can’t say 100 per cent it will be like this but my idea and my motivation is to try to enjoy and say goodbye to all the tournaments that have been important for me.
“To enjoy being competitive and something that today is not possible. I believe if I keep going now, I will not be able to make it happen.”
Nadal had hoped the injury, which occurred during his second-round defeat by Mackenzie McDonald at the Australian Open, would take only six to eight weeks to heal but a short video emerged online of Nadal doubling over in discomfort during a practice session last week.
Nadal turns 37 this month and is now a major doubt to feature at Wimbledon, which starts three weeks after the conclusion of the action in Paris. – Guardian