Rafael Nadal out of French Open, announces intent to retire

Rafael Nadal in action

Rafael Nadal has announced that he will not be taking part in the 2023 French Open stripping the event of its defending champion.

Despite Nadal apparently doing everything he could, including receiving double treatments for his injured hip, he will not be able to participate at Roland Garros.

In a press conference held on Thursday Nadal announced that he will miss the French Open and will likely not play again for several months.

“I won’t be able to play at Roland Garros.

“This decision was taken by my body.

“I won’t be playing for the next few months,” Nadal said.

“I am going to stop, I am not going to train. I am not ready to train,” Nadal said, alternating answers in Spanish and English. “These have been many months with many moments of frustration, and I can handle frustration, but there comes a time when you have to stop.”

Nadal made the announcement from his Academy on Thursday afternoon.

He added that 2024 will likely be his last season.

“You never know how things will turn out, but my intention is that next year will be my last year,” Nadal said.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion has not played since sustaining the hip injury back in his Australian Open second round loss to Mackenzie McDonald.

It would later be confirmed that he had suffered a grade 2 rupture in the iliac psoas of his left leg.

Ahead of the Rome Masters Nadal stated that his injury issue has improved in recent days, but not sufficiently to participate next week in Rome

“I am very sorry to announce that I will not be able to be in Rome,” Nadal wrote on his social media accounts.

“You all know how much it hurts me to miss another of the tournaments that have marked my professional and personal career because of all the love and support of the Italian tifosi (fans).

“Although I have noticed an improvement in the last few days, it has been many months without being able to train at a high level and the process of readjustment takes a certain amount of time, and I have no choice but to accept that and continue working.”

The Spaniard will miss the French Grand Slam for the first time in 18 seasons, although he did withdraw from the competition in 2016 due to a fractured left wrist.

Nadal is set to suffer a catastrophic rankings drop as he will fail to defend any of the 2000 points he gained last season.

The withdrawal leaves the door open for either new winner of the French Open or perhaps another title for Novak Djokovic. The only other former champion in the field will be 38-year-old Stan Wawrinka.

Carlos Alcaraz will be the top seed for the French Open with Novak Djokovic set to anchor the draw as the No 2 seed.