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Rafael Nadal withdraws from French Open due to injury, plans to end career in 2024

Published at :May 19, 2023 at 3:41 AM
Modified at :May 19, 2023 at 3:41 AM
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The 36-year-old confirmed he won't play the Wimbledon as well.

Rafael Nadal has pulled out of the upcoming French Open 2023 due to an injury. The record 14-time winner at Roland Garros has announced via his social media accounts that a hip injury might keep him out for longer than initially expected, thus forcing him to miss the French Open for the first time since he made his debut at Roland Garros in 2005.

Nadal suffered a hip injury during his Australian Open Round 2 match against Mackenzie McDonald. After getting injured in January, the 36-year-old was expected to be fit within six to eight weeks. However, his recovery process has taken longer than the player expected, so he may even have to miss Wimbledon.

The Spaniard also revealed that next season might be his final, as he has started contemplating retirement. As for his comeback, he has set the upcoming Davis Cup Finals in the month of September as his most probable return to the court.

“My ambition is to try to stop to give myself an opportunity to enjoy next year, that’s probably going to be my last year on the professional tour,” Nadal told a press conference at his Rafa Nadal Academy in Manacor, Spain.

“That’s my idea, even then I can’t say 100% because you never know what can happen – but my idea and my motivation is to try to enjoy and try to say goodbye to all the tournaments that have been important for me in my tennis career during [next] year, and just try to enjoy that, being competitive and enjoying being on the court, something that today is not possible.

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

How the world reacted

Reacting to the announcement, the official Roland Garros account tweeted, "Rafa, we can’t imagine how hard this decision was. We’ll definitely miss you at this year’s Roland-Garros. Take care of yourself to come back stronger on the courts. Hoping to see you next year in Paris.”

Earlier, Novak Djokovic was asked about his chances of winning the upcoming French Open title. He exclaimed that his or anyone else's chances of winning the title depends on the participation of Rafael Nadal. Answering the question, Djokovic said, "It depends on whether Nadal plays or not."