Rafael Nadal pulls out of French Open, aims to retire in 2024

Rafael Nadal pulls out of French Open, aims to retire in 2024

Rafael Nadal has confirmed he will not be fit in time to play at the French Open, and is eyeing retirement at the end of next year.

The 22-time grand-slam champion has not played since his second-round exit at the Australian Open in January.

Nadal struggled with a hip injury during the straight sets defeat to Mackenzie McDonald and the ongoing issue has failed to recover sufficiently in order for the 36-year-old to feature at Roland Garros.

It means the Spaniard will miss the tournament for the first time since 2004 but he admitted during a press conference at his academy in Manacor that it feels the only option to prolong his career.

The 14-time French Open champion now plans to rest for the coming months with the aim to recover so he can play at "important tournaments" in 2024 during what will be his final year on the ATP Tour.

"The first thing is I'm not going to be able to play in Roland Garros," Nadal said.

"I was even working as much as possible every single day for last four months, they have been very difficult months because we were not able to find a solution to the problems I have in Australia.

"Today I am still in a position where I am not able to feel myself ready to compete at the standards I need to be able to play Roland Garros.

"I am not the guy who will be at Roland Garros just to play."

"My goal and my ambition is to try and stop and give myself an opportunity to enjoy the next year that will probably be my last year in the professional tour.

"That is my idea but I can't say 100 per cent it will be like this but my idea and my motivation is to try to enjoy and say goodbye to all the tournaments that have been important for me.

"To enjoy being competitive and something that today is not possible. I believe if I keep going now, I will not be able to make it happen."