Top tennis player Rafael Nadal will not participate in the French grand slam tournament Roland Garros, which he has participated in every year since 2005. The defending champion has been struggling with a persistent hip injury since January that does not allow him to participate, he announced during a press conference on Thursday. The 36-year-old Spaniard said: “Not me, but my body makes this decision.” Of the eighteen times that Nadal participated in Roland Garros, he won fourteen times.
There has been uncertainty about Nadal’s fitness for months. He took a break after the hip injury to recover, but that is not going as hoped. “I don’t know when I’ll be back. Maybe in two, three, four months? I really do not know. I cannot predict the future and now follow my gut.” He would love to continue, he assured the press, but expects 2024 to be his last season.
Slowly the end of an acclaimed career in international tennis is in sight. Nadal was number one in the ATP world rankings for more than two hundred weeks. He never left the top 10 of that list between April 2005 and March 2023. He dropped out due to his injury.
For 20 years, Nadal, along with his arch-rivals Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, dominated as part of the “big three” of men’s tennis. Their ‘golden tennis era’ came to an end when Federer announced in September of last year that he would retire from top sport. He did not play his last match against Nadal, but with Nadal in a doubles match, which they lost. The 35-year-old Djokovic, the youngest of the three, is currently proudly in first place in the world ranking. This week he said in one interview : “As long as Nadal plays, he will always be my biggest rival.”
#Nadal #misses #Roland #Garros #time #body #decision