Nadal pulls out of Roland-Garros, says 2024 will “probably be (his) final year on the Tour”

The Spaniard says his hip injury has not recovered in time to allow him to play in Paris, which means he will drop out of the world’s top 100 after the tournament

Rafael Nadal will not defend his Roland-Garros title after failing to recover in time from a hip injury and says he hopes to return in 2024 for what will “probably be his last year on the Tour”.

Speaking during a press conference at his academy in Mallorca on Thursday, saying that it was “impossible” for him to be competitive at Roland-Garros.

“I am not able to play at Roland-Garros,” he said. “I was working as much as possible every single day for the last four months,” he said. “Have been very difficult months because we were not able to find the solution to the problem I had in Australia. I am still not in a position to be at the standards I need to be to play at Roland-Garros.”

2024 to be Nadal’s last year on Tour

Nadal said he is not sure when he will be able to return but said 2024 is likely to be his last on the Tour.

“I don’t know when I am going to be able to come back to the practice court, but I want to stop for a while; maybe once, maybe one month and a half, maybe three months, maybe four months. I don’t know. I am not the guy who likes to predict a lot the future.

“But my my goal and my my ambition is to try to to stop, to give myself an opportunity to to enjoy next year, that’s probably going to be my last year in a professional. That’s my idea. Even (though) I can’t say hundred percent that’s going to be like this because you never know what’s going to happen. But my idea and my motivation is to try to to enjoy and try to say goodbye to all the tournament that have been important for me and my career, next year and just try to enjoy that, being competitive and enjoying being a part of something that today is not possible.

“I really believe that if I keep going now, I will not be able to make that happen. I don’t know if I stop, I will be able to make that happen, but I think the chances are much higher if I stop.

Nadal’s Roland-Garros withdrawal widely anticipated

Nadal has not played on the tour since he suffered a hip psoas injury during his second-round defeat by Mackenzie McDonald at the Australian Open. The Spaniard, who turns 37 next month, pulled out of the Indian Wells and Miami Masters in the United States and had hoped to return for the clay-court season.

But as the weeks passed by and as he pulled out of Monte-Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid and then Rome, the writing was on the wall.

His diehard fans pointed to his 2022 season where Nadal played only Madrid and Rome, compiling a 3-3 record, before going on to win a record 14th Roland-Garros as hope that he could still play in Paris without any build-up and work his way into winning form. But those hopes were dashed by Thursday’s announcement.

A video that went online on May 11 was perhaps a harbinger of things to come. In it, the Spaniard is seen bending down and holding both his knees before sitting down during a practice session.

Nadal will fall out of world’s top 100

The 2023 edition of Roland-Garros will mark the first time since 2004 that Nadal will not be in Paris. The Spaniard has dominated the French Open unlike any other player at any other major, winning it 14 times in the past 18 editions.

Nadal is currently No 14 in the world rankings, having seen his incredible streak of 912 consecutive weeks in the top 10 come to an end in March. By missing Paris, he will lose a further 2,000 ranking points and will be ranked outside the top 100.

Nadal won two Grand Slam titles in 2022, the Australian Open and French Open, taking his tally to 22, a men’s record equalled by Novak Djokovic when he won in Melbourne earlier this year.

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