Rafael Nadal withdraws from Roland Garros and hinted 2024 to be his last season

This will be the first time, Rafael Nadal, the 14-time Roland Garros champion won't play the tournament since 2005.

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Abishek Goswami
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Roland Garros | Rafael Nadal withdraws from Roland Garros and hinted 2024 to be his last season | Sportz Point

Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from Roland Garros. The 14-time champion announced on Thursday at the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar. Nadal will not play in the season's second major for the first time since his tournament debut in 2005. The 22-time major winner also added that 2024 might be the end of his professional career.

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Rafael Nadal has not competed since January at the Australian Open. He suffered an injury to the iliopsoas muscle in his left leg. Nadal and his team were expecting a recovery period of six to eight weeks, but the lefty has not returned to action.

Rafael Nadal withdraws from Roland Garros

"I was even working as much as possible every single day for the last four months. It has been very difficult months because we were not able to find the solution to the problem that I had in Australia," Nadal said. "Today I'm still in a position that I am not able to feel myself ready to compete at the standards that I need to be to play a Roland Garros. I am not the guy that is going to be at Roland Garros and just try to be there and put myself in a position that I don't like to be in."

The Spaniard was happy with his on-court results, like when last year he won the Australian Open and Roland Garros. But he was struggling to enjoy his daily work because of his physical problems.

"I don't know, I am not the guy who likes to predict a lot the future, so I'm just following my personal feelings and just following what I really believe is the right thing to do for my body and for my personal happiness now."

"2023 is probably going to be my last year in the professional Tour," Rafael Nadal

"Since after the pandemic, my body was not able to hold the practices and to hold the daily work in a good way. So I was not able to enjoy the practices and the competition because too many problems, too many times having to stop for physical issues and too many days of going here practicing but with too much pain," Nadal said. "So after I said that I need to stop. I need to stop for a while. So my decision is to stop. I don't know when I'm going to be able to come back to the practice court, but I'm going to stop for a while. Maybe two months, maybe one month and a half, maybe three months, maybe four months."

Nadal also said that he wants to enjoy 2023 as a regular person. It might be the end of his professional tennis career.

"I can't say 100 percent that it is going to be like this because you never know what can happen. But my idea and my motivation is to try to enjoy and try to say goodbye 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," Nadal said. "That is something that today is not possible. I really believe that 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 think the chances are much higher if I stop."

Rafael Nadal's records:

Nadal defeated Casper Ruud in a three-set championship match to win a record-breaking 22nd Grand Slam singles title last year in Paris. Novak Djokovic has equaled the record.

Rafael Nadal owns a 112-3 record across 18 career appearances at the major (one mid-tournament withdrawal). His 112 match wins and his 97.4 percent win rate both stand alone as records, as does his perfect 14-0 mark in finals. To be more specific about his records, he also owns 14 trophies at Roland Garros.

"The tournament is going to keep being the best event in the world of clay and there is going to be one Roland Garros champion. It's not going to be me, there is going to be another one and that's life."

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