Legendary Spaniard Rafael Nadal withdrew from the 2023 French Open during a press conference at his academy in Mallorca on Thursday.
Nadal, who has not participated in a competitive match since losing in the second round of the Australian Open to Mackenzie McDonald, continues to struggle with a hip injury.
Telling reporters during his press conference that: “I’m still in a position that I am not able to feel myself ready to compete at the standards that I need to be [at] to play a Roland Garros.”
The Spaniard went on to say: “I don’t think I deserve to end this way, in a press conference. I will fight to finish my career on a tennis court. It’s always worth to make one more effort. That has always been my philosophy.”
Regarding his future in the sport, the 22-time Major winner said: “My ambition is to try to stop to give myself an opportunity to enjoy next year. It’s probably gonna be my last year on the tour. I can’t say 100%.”
As a result of his withdrawal, Nadal will lose 2000 rankings points from being the defending champion at Roland Garros. He will likely find himself around No. 135 in the world after the event.
The soon-to-be 37 year old won two Grand Slams in 2022, capturing the Australian Open and French Open.
With Nadal out of action, the men’s favourites at this year’s event will feature Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz and Holger Rune.
The 2023 French Open takes place from Monday, May 22 – Sunday, June 11, 2023 at Stade Roland Garros.