Rafael Nadal will miss French Open for the first time since his debut in 2005 after the 14-time champion announced on Thursday that he had pulled out of the tournament due to injury, adding that “next year is my last year” in professional tennis.
The Spaniard suffered a thigh injury in the second round. Lost at the Australian Open Mackenzie McDonald in January and initially said he hoped to be back in shape within six to eight weeks.
However, in an update posted to social media on April 20 and again on Thursday, the 22-time Grand Slam champion said his recovery process has taken longer than anticipated.
Nadal also revealed that he will be out for the next “several months” as he continues to recover, meaning the 36-year-old is also likely to miss Wimbledon.
“My goal is to try to stop giving myself the opportunity to enjoy next year, which will probably be my last year on the pro tour,” Nadal said at a press conference at his Raf Nadal academy in Manacor, Spain.
“This is 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 have fun and try to say goodbye to all the tournaments that were important to me in my life . during tennis career [next] year, and just try to enjoy it by competing and enjoying being on the court, which is not possible today.
“I really believe that if I continue now, I will not be able to achieve this. I don’t know if I will stop, if I can do it, but I know the chances are much higher.”
The King of Clay has said it intends to return for the Davis Cup final starting in September.
Nadal has only lost three times at the French Open since his winning debut in 2005, which is undoubtedly one of the most dominant records in all of the sport.
In 2009, he suffered one of the biggest defeats in tennis history, losing in the round of 16 to Robin Söderling before losing to Novak Djokovic in 2015 and 2021.
In 2016, Nadal withdrew from a third round match against compatriot Marcel Granollers due to a wrist injury.
Nadal has not played since the Australian Open and fell out of the world’s top 10 for the first time since 2005 in March.
“Rafa, we can’t imagine how hard this decision was” This was reported by Roland Garros on Twitter.“. We will definitely miss you at Roland Garros this year. Take care of yourself so you can get back on the courts stronger.
“Hope to see you next year in Paris.”