Rafael Nadal declared on Thursday that he is skipping the French Open due to a persistent hip issue that has kept him out of action since January and that he anticipates 2024 to be his final season of competition.
Rafael Nadal is pulling out of the French Open due to a lingering hip injury that has sidelined him since January, he announced Thursday. https://t.co/41JWlFH8ou
— ESPN (@espn) May 18, 2023
For the first time since making his debut at the clay-court Grand Slam tournament in 2005, the holder of a record 14 victories will be absent. Nadal, who will turn 37 in one month, his retirement and future intentions at a press conference held at his tennis academy in Manacor, Spain. He stated that while he does not want to establish a certain time to return to the tennis tour, he anticipates it will take several months.
On May 28, play gets underway at Roland Garros in Paris. In his 18 career appearances at the French Open, Nadal has a record of 112-3, a level of dominance that has never been surpassed by a man or woman in the long history of a sport that reaches back to the 1800s. Nadal became the oldest champion in tournament history when he took home the trophy last year at 36 despite suffering from persistent foot problems.
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On June 3, which would have been his everyday birthday, Nadal would have been competing in his third-round match at Court Philippe Chatrier. As he has been for most of this season, he will be out of commission instead.
Since losing to Mackie McDonald in the second round of the Australian Open on January 18, when it is evident that a troublesome left hip flexor constrained his movement, the Spaniard hasn’t participated in any competitions. Since 2016, that was Nadal’s earliest Grand Slam exit.
The depth of the damage was discovered via an MRI the following day, and Nadal’s manager stated at the time that it might take him up to two months to fully recover.
He had planned to make a comeback at the Monte Carlo Masters in March on his favorite red clay, but he could not compete there due to injury. He then withdrew from the tournament following the tournament, making it less likely that he would fully recover in time for the French Open.