Misc Tennis

Rafael Nadal out of 2023 French Open and plans retirement in 2024

Rafael Nadal out of 2023 French Open and plans retirement in 2024

Rafael Nadal will miss the French Open for the first time in 19 years after a hip injury ruled out the record 14-time men’s singles champion.

The 36-year-old Spaniard, who has won 22 major titles, also said he plans to retire after the 2024 season.

“I didn’t make the decision, my body made the decision. To play Roland Garros is impossible,” he said.

“Next year will probably be my last year. That is my idea. If I keep going now I won’t be able to make it happen.”

Nadal holds the joint record number of men’s major triumphs alongside Serbia’s Novak Djokovic. He has won 70 other ATP titles and spent 209 weeks at world number one – the sixth longest amount of time in ATP history.

Known as the ‘King of Clay’, Nadal has won 112 of his 115 matches at the French Open.

However, the Majorcan left-hander has not played since sustaining the hip problem at the Australian Open in January.

Nadal has been practising in recent weeks, but was not fit enough to play a tournament in the run-up to Roland Garros.

The French Open starts in Paris on 28 May and runs until 11 June.

“I was working as much as possible every single day for the past four months and they have been difficult because we were not been able to find the solution to the problems I had in Australia,” he added.

“I’m still in the position where I am not able to feel ready to compete at the standards I need to be to play at Roland Garros.

“I am not the guy who will be at Roland Garros just to try to be there and in a position where I don’t like to be.”

Nadal said he needs to stop playing for the foreseeable future in order to make a full recovery and complete a planned farewell season in 2024.

His participation at this year’s Wimbledon remains in doubt. The Championships, which Nadal won in 2008 and 2010, start at the All England Club on 3 July and run until 16 July.

“I will stop for a while, maybe one month and a half, maybe two months, maybe three months or maybe four months. I don’t know. I do not like to predict the future,” he said.

“I will do the right thing for my body and personal happiness.

“My goal and ambition is to try to stop and give myself an opportunity to enjoy the next year.

“That is my idea but I can’t say 100% it will be like this. My idea is to try to enjoy and say goodbye to all the tournaments that have been important for me.”

Nadal injured his hip during a second-round defeat by American Mackenzie MacDonald in Melbourne and initially…

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