Tennis player Rafael Nadal announces his withdrawal from the French Open due to injury, stating that next year will be his final year in the tournament.

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CNN  — 

Rafael Nadal will miss the French Open for the first time since he made his debut in 2005 after the 14-time champion announced on Thursday that he has withdrawn from the tournament due to injury, adding that “next year is my last year” in professional tennis.

The athlete from Spain sustained a hip injury in January during his second-round match against Mackenzie McDonald in the Australian Open. Initially, he stated that he aimed to recover within six to eight weeks.

However, the 22-time grand slam champion announced on social media on April 20 and again on Thursday that his recovery was taking longer than expected.

Rafael Nadal also announced that he will be taking a break from playing tennis for the next “several months” while he recovers. This unfortunately means that the 36-year-old will most likely not be able to participate in Wimbledon.

“I aspire to take a break and give myself the chance to fully appreciate next year. It will most likely be my final year on the professional tour,” Nadal stated at a press conference held at his Rafa Nadal Academy in Manacor, Spain.

“That’s 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 enjoy and try to say goodbye to 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, something that today is not possible.

Rafael Nadal said next year will likely be his last playing tennis.

“I have confidence that if I continue on my current path, I will not be able to achieve that goal. If I were to stop, there is a possibility that I could still achieve it, but the likelihood is lower.”

The renowned clay court player announced his plan to participate in the Davis Cup Finals, which begin in September.

Roland Garros

Since his first successful appearance at the French Open in 2005, Nadal has only been defeated three times. This undoubtedly stands as one of the most remarkable records in all of sports.

In 2009, he experienced a major upset in the world of tennis when he was defeated in the round of 16 by Robin Söderling. He was also defeated by Novak Djokovic in both 2015 and 2021.

In 2016, Nadal pulled out of his third-round game against fellow Spaniard Marcel Granollers due to a wrist injury.

In March, Nadal fell out of the world’s top 10 rankings for the first time since 2005 and has not competed since the Australian Open.

“Dear Rafa, we understand how difficult this decision must have been for you. We will certainly miss you at this year’s Roland Garros. Please take care of yourself and come back even stronger on the courts.”

I am looking forward to seeing you in Paris next year.


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