Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)

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


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, without training, 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 Spaniard said it was important to step away from the game in order to come back next year and say goodbye by playing at his favourite events.

“If I keep playing in this moment, I don't think I can make next year,” said Nadal.

“My idea and motivation is to try to enjoy and try to say goodbye to all the tournament­s that have been important to me.” Nadal is hopeful that by taking a complete break, his body can recover.

“I will stop, I won't train, it's been months of frustratio­n -- there's a moment that one has to put the brakes on,” he explained.

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