Rafael Nadal will be absent from next week’s French Open and has signaled his intention to retire in 2024. The 22-time grand slam champion has not played since his second-round exit at the Australian Open in January.
Nadal struggled with a hip injury during the straight sets defeat to Mackenzie McDonald, and the ongoing issue has failed to recover sufficiently for the 36-year-old to feature at Roland Garros. It means the Spaniard will miss the tournament for the first time since 2004, but he admitted during a press conference at his academy in Manacor that it feels like the only option to prolong his career.
The 14-time French Open champion now plans to rest for the coming months with the aim of recovering so he can play at “important tournaments” in 2024 during what will be his final year on the ATP Tour.
“My goal and my ambition is to try and stop and give myself an opportunity to enjoy the next year, which will probably be my last year on the professional tour,” Nadal told a press conference.