For the first time in 19 years, Rafael Nadal, a record 14-time men’s singles winner, will skip the French Open owing to hip pain.
The 36-year-old Spanish player, who has won 22 major men’s championships, has announced his plans to retire after the 2024 season. He stated:
“I didn’t make the decision, my body made the decision. To play Roland Garros is impossible. Next year will be my last year on tour – that is my idea. If I keep going now I won’t be able to make that happen.”
Since getting hurt at the Australian Open in January, Nadal has not played. The next month, he will turn 37. Nadal has been working out in the weeks preceding up to Roland Garros, but he is still not in tournament shape. The French Open begins on May 28 and lasts through June 11 in Paris. Thus, he added;
“I was working as much as possible every single day for the past four months and they have been difficult because I’ve not been not able to find a solution to the problem I had in Australia. I’m not in the position to be able to compete to be at the standard to play Roland Garros. I’m not a guy who will just be at Roland Garros.”
Nadal said he needs to stop playing for the foreseeable future in order to make a full recovery and return healthy to complete a farewell season in 2024.
“I will stop for a while, maybe one month, maybe three months or maybe four months. I do not like to predict the future. I will do the right thing for my body and personal happiness. My motivation is to enjoy the season and say goodbye to all the tournaments I have enjoyed in my career. If I keep going now I will not be able to make that happen.”
During his loss against American Mackenzie MacDonald in Melbourne’s second round, Rafael Nadal suffered a hip injury.
He had anticipated missing six to eight weeks of action. Two days after the contest, an MRI scan revealed a tear in his left psoas muscle. When the elbow “still hadn’t healed” last month, Nadal said he would be unable to compete in the Madrid Open and that he was preparing a new course of action.