Rafael Nadal Withdraws From the French Open, Wants to Play One More Year-News

Rafael Nadalthe 14-year-old French Open men’s singles champion, will not compete this year in the event that has defined his career due to a months-long injury.

Nadal, who has competed in Paris every year since 2005 and has an incredible record of 112-3 at Roland Garros, made the announcement at a press conference Thursday at his tennis academy on the Spanish island of Majorca.

Nadal said he will take an extended break from the tournament to try to get healthy and try to play next season, which he said will “probably be my last year on the professional tour.”

“That’s my opinion,” he said. “Despite this, I can’t say that it will be 100 percent like this because you never know what will happen, but my idea is motivation and I’m trying to have fun and try to say goodbye to all the celebrations that have happened. It has been important for me in my tennis career.”

His exit from the French Open, which is scheduled to begin on May 28, was not surprising. He has not played since injuring his stomach and right leg at the Australian Open in January. But the reality of the announcement, and his absence from the red clay where he has dominated for so long, shocked the tennis world.

“I worked as hard as I could every day for the last four months and it’s been a very difficult month because we couldn’t find a solution to the problem I had in Australia,” Nadal said. “Today I’m still at a point where I can’t feel myself ready to compete at the level I need to play at Roland Garros.”

Nadal won the French Open last year to take his 22nd Grand Slam title, and has repeatedly called this tournament, the second major of the year, the most important of his career. His absence will keep his image away from the main stage ensuring that he will be the center of attention.

Nadal has also made it clear that he does not want to play a tournament without enough chances to compete.

“I’m not someone who’s going to be at Roland Garros and just try to be there and put myself in a position I don’t like to be in,” he said.

Nadal said that after forcing himself to try to prepare for the French Open, he will take some time off to try to get healthy.

“I don’t know when I will be back on the court, but I will stop for a while,” he said. “Maybe two months.” Maybe a month and a half. Maybe three months. Maybe four months. I don’t know. I’m not a person who likes to predict the future but I just follow my feelings and I just follow what I believe is right for my body and for me to be happy.”

For weeks, as the pro tennis tour has moved into the European clay season, which he has dominated throughout his career, Nadal’s health and his rehab suspension have been among the biggest issues in the game. Discussions are growing every week that he removed – from the games in Monte Carlo, then Barcelona, ​​then Madrid – he went up.

His broader comments came before Thursday in a video posted on social media last month he explained that his ongoing battle to recover from tears in his psoas muscle in his abdomen and right upper back has not gone as planned. Nadal was injured in January at the second round of the Australian Openthe first major tournament of the year, where he was trying to defend his title.

In the days following Nadal’s injury in Australia, his team said they hoped he would not miss six to eight weeks, which would allow Nadal to return in time for the spring European season.

The announcement earlier this month that Nadal would not play in Rome, where he has won a record 10 times, rang big bells. The current conditions are very close to those of the French Open. Over the weekend, the organizer of next week’s red clay tournament in France said Nadal did not want to enter the tournament. This means that his opening match at Roland Garros is likely to be his first real tournament in over four months.

Nadal said last month that he wanted to get additional treatment for the injury but did not specify what the treatment would include and said he did not know when he would be able to compete. Throughout his record-breaking but injury-plagued career, Nadal relied heavily on a team of medical professionals in his native Spain, including Dr. Angel Ruiz Cotorro.

It is not unusual for Nadal to enter a Grand Slam tournament without playing the same track. Nadal entered Wimbledon last year without playing in a grass-court tournament since mid-2019. He played in the final but he had to leave due to abdominal trauma.

A psoas muscle injury has plagued him for the past 18 months – a spate of chronic foot injuries, a broken rib and a pulled abdominal muscle – which has forced Nadal, who turns 37 on June 3, to miss most of his regular matches. lives on his schedule. It comes at a time in his career when retirement is becoming less of a fantasy and more like a reality that is looming each week.

To make matters worse, tennis punishes inactivity in a way that can make coming back from a long layoff more difficult. If Nadal misses the entire clay court season, he will face a worse international slump than he has experienced in the past two decades.

In March, Nadal dropped out of the top 10 for the first time in 18 years. By missing the French Open, he could drop out of the top 100 for the first time since 2003. Although he will be able to enter any tournament by requesting a wild card, it depends on how long it takes. how and if his ranking will be worth defending, he may not slow down and may face higher level players than he usually does.

This will pose a special challenge for Nadal, who often talks about the need to play well and find his rhythm with several rounds against lesser competition. That chance won’t exist without a high ranking, and winning matches is the only way to get a high ranking. Britain’s Andy Murray, who turned 36 on May 15, is a two-time Wimbledon champion who climbed to No. 1 in 2016 and has been. to deal with this since returning from major hip surgery four years ago.

The statistics of Nadal’s absence leave the door open Carlos Alcarazthe Spanish sensation who turned 20 earlier this month and last year became the youngest player to hold the world’s highest ranking. after winning the US Open; or Novak Djokovic, who is tied with Nadal with 22 Grand Slam titles. Djokovic has had his share of injury problems during the clay court season, although he appears to be in good shape this week in Rome at the Italian Open.

When he re-entered the tour in April, he aggravated an elbow injury in Monte Carlo and Barcelona. He then left Madrid for a break in Rome, where he has won six times, and Roland Garros, where he has won twice, as soon as 2021.

Djokovic, the world No. 1, missed two major court tournaments in the United States in March because he could not enter the country without the Covid-19 vaccine. The Biden administration has ended this requiredmeaning that Djokovic will be able to play in the US Open.

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