Tennis ace Nadal to miss French Open for the first time as he battles injury

Holder Rafael Nadal will miss the French Open after failing to regain full fitness from a hip injury suffered at the Australian Open in January, the 14-times Roland Garros winner said on Thursday, May 18, adding 2024 could be the final year of his career.

“I’ll look to be 100 percent ready for next year, which I believe will be the last year of my professional career,” Nadal told reporters at a press conference.

“I’ll not establish a date for my return. I’ll see how my body responds and take it from there ... if I can come back until the end of the year for the Davis Cup.”

Nadal, who has dominated the clay court season for years, has competed at Roland Garros every year since claiming the first of his men’s record 22 major titles in Paris in 2005. He is also widely regarded along with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic to be the one of the greatest male tennis players of all time.

“If I keep playing at this moment, I don’t think I can be there next year... to be able to play the tournaments that I want to say goodbye to those who have supported me…The evolution of the injury I sustained in Australia has not gone as I would have liked. I have lost goals along the way, and Roland Garros becomes impossible.”

“At this moment, I won’t be able to be at Roland Garros. With what that tournament is for me, you can imagine how difficult it is.”

The French Open begins on May 28.