Spain's Rafael Nadal said 2024 will probably be his final year on the ATP Tour. File Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI | License Photo
May 18 (UPI) -- Spaniard Rafael Nadal withdrew from the 2023 French Open because of his hip injury, he announced Thursday at a news conference. The tennis star also said 2024 will probably be his final full season on the ATP Tour.
"Today, 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," Nadal told reporters at his tennis academy in Mallorca, Spain.
"I am not the guy that is going to be at Roland Garros and just try to be there and put myself in a position that I don't like to be [in]."
The 2023 French Open will be held May 28 to June 11 in Paris. Nadal, who holds a record 14 French Open singles titles, won last year's crown at Roland Garros.
Nadal, 36, last competed at the 2023 Australian Open in January in Melbourne. He aggravated a previous hip injury at that tournament, the first Grand Slam of the season.
Nadal announced in January that he would miss six to eight weeks because of the injury. He said in April that the injury was taking longer to heal than expected and he didn't know when he would return.
Nadal said his practice and workout schedule was hindered because of pain and "physical issues" he dealt with since the pandemic.
"My ambition is to try to stop to give myself an opportunity to enjoy next year, which is probably going to be my last year on the professional tour," Nadal said.
He last missed the French Open in 2004. He won four-consecutive crowns at the clay-court major in Paris from 2005 through 2008 and totaled nine French Open titles in 10 years from 2005 through 2014.