*** ----> Nadal pulls out of French Open, set to end career in 2024 | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Nadal pulls out of French Open, set to end career in 2024

AFP | Manacor                                                              

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Rafael Nadal yesterday withdrew from the French Open because his hip injury has not healed and said he expects 2024 to be his final year in professional tennis.

“It’s not a decision I’m taking, it’s a decision my body is taking,” said the 36-year-old Spanish player, who has played at the claycourt major every year since 2005 and won it 14 times.

Nadal said he was taking a few months off, meaning he will also definitely miss Wimbledon and most likely the US Open, before starting to play again. And he said next year would bring down the curtain on a career that has so far produced 22 Grand Slam singles titles.

“It’s probably going to be my last year on the professional tour, I can’t say this 100 percent because you never know what’s going to happen,” he told a news conference.

“The injury I suffered in Australia has not healed as we hoped. “Roland Garros became impossible. I will not be there after many years, with everything that (tournament) means to me.” Nadal said he will not set a date for his return, but said the Davis Cup in November could be a potential target.

The former world number one has not played since the Australian Open in January where he picked up a hip injury in a shock second-round loss to Mackenzie McDonald of the United States. He was expected to recover within six weeks, comfortably in time for the claycourt season and to launch an assault on a record-extending 15th title at Roland Garros.

However, with his 37th birthday little over two weeks away and having skipped Masters events in Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo, Madrid, and Rome, Nadal appears to be facing a final battle he cannot win.

After a career plagued by knee, wrist and foot injuries in particular, the alarm bells have been ringing ever louder over the last year. Nadal’s undefeated start to 2022, which saw him pick up a second Australian Open title, ended with a chest injury at Indian Wells.