In a stunning blow to the French Open, the mighty Rafael Nadal, defending champion and hailed as the ‘King of Clay’, will be sidelined this year due to a nagging hip injury that has plagued him since January. This marks the first time in 18 glorious years, since his triumphant debut in 2005, that the 14-time Roland Garros winner will be absent from the prestigious tournament.
Despite his relentless determination, Nadal’s valiant efforts to reclaim full fitness following the injury sustained during the Australian Open have fallen short. In a somber announcement at a press conference, the tennis titan hinted that the approaching year, 2024, could spell the end of his illustrious career.
Opting for a cautious approach, Nadal shared, “I will strive to be at the peak of my abilities next year, as I believe it will mark the final chapter of my professional journey.” The Spanish maestro refrained from setting a specific timeline for his return, emphasizing the importance of listening to his body’s signals. He added, “I will evaluate my progress and take it step by step… Perhaps, if fate allows, I may make a comeback before the year concludes, aiming for the Davis Cup.”
Roland Garros will undoubtedly feel the absence of the legendary Nadal, who has graced the tournament’s clay courts without fail since his groundbreaking victory in 2005, when he clinched his first of an unparalleled 22 major titles.
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