Rafael Nadal Confirms French Open Withdrawal, Return Unknown, Plans 2024 Farewell Tour

by Staff | May 18th, 2023, 10:43 am

As feared, Rafael Nadal just announced today that he will miss the French Open. It’s the first time since 2004 that the 14-time champion with a 112-3 record will miss his favorite, his defining event.

“Not playing Roland Garros is not my decision, it’s my body’s decision,” Nadal said.

“I was even working as much as possible every single day for the last four months. It has been very difficult months because we were not able to find the solution to the problem that I had in Australia,” Nadal said during a press conference at his academy. “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 to play a Roland Garros. 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.”

Nadal, who hasn’t played on tour since injuring his right hip/psoas muscle during the Australian Open, did provide some positive news. His plan is to return to action later this year, he just doesn’t know when. He’s targeting the Davis Cup but added a return could come sooner.

“Since after the pandemic my body was not able to hold the practices and to hold the daily work in a good way. So I was not able to enjoy the practices and the competition because too many problems. Too many times having to stop for physical issues and too many days of going here practicing but with with too much pain. So after I said that I need to stop. I need to stop for a while.

“So my decision is to stop. I don’t know when I’m going to be able to come back to the practice court, but I’m going to stop for a while. Maybe two months, maybe one month and a half, maybe three months, maybe four months.

“I don’t know, I am not the guy who likes to predict a lot the future, so I’m just following my my personal feelings and just following what I really believe is the right thing to do for for my body and for my personal happiness now.”

And he plans 2024 to be his final season, if his body allows.

“I can’t say 100% going to be like this because you never know what can happen. But my idea and my motivation is try to enjoy and try to say goodbye to all the tournaments that have been important for me in my tennis career during year and just try to enjoy that that, being competitive and enjoying being on court.

“Something that today is not possible. I really believe that if I keep going now, I will not be able to make that happen. I don’t know if I stop if I will be able to make that happen, but I think the chances are much higher if I stop.”

So Rafa hopes by stopping now he’ll have a chance to have a full, perhaps final, year on tour in 2024. Nadal turns 37 on June 3.

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17 Comments for Rafael Nadal Confirms French Open Withdrawal, Return Unknown, Plans 2024 Farewell Tour

SG1 Says:

Sad but not surprising. I have my doubts we’ll see Rafa in 2024 but I hope I’m wrong.

If this is the end, it’s been a great ride. He re-defined mental toughness. You’d have to go to basketball (MJ) or golf with Tiger Woods to find someone of comparable mental make up in a major sport.

skeezer Says:


Okiegal Says:

@SG1…….TRUTH! I think the players who get injured are too eager to get back on the court. I personally don’t think Rafa should have picked up a racquet for two months, just do some light rehab. I know they have specialists they depend on to give them proper direction on their injury. But I bet the player overrides their decision. Hitting the practice court too soon just aggravates the problem more. Obviously his injury was worse than they first thought. Plus age isn’t on his side either.

chrisford Says:

All good things must end.
No one will say “The things Rafa could have done, if only…. he tried harder”.
Not done yet, but they are ending.

Wog Boy Says:

“You’d have to go to basketball (MJ) or golf with Tiger Woods to find someone of comparable mental make up in a major sport.”

No you don’t have to go to basketball or golf, you can stay in tennis, there is one player that is better regarding “mental toughness”, which he proved time and time again, even you don’t want to mention his name.

skeezer Says:

^ wrong thread for the angry one.

Wog Boy Says:

“…wrong thread for the angry one.” ?!

You must be looking in the mirror?

This thread is about arguably the second best player in the history whose career was “cut short” at the age of 37. His fans should celebrate his career.

He is announcing farewell tour next year, doing the same what Roger was doing just far more open, fulfilling contractual duties towards his sponsors and milking some more $$$. Let’s face it, he is hardly playing since FO last year.

Nole is the last man standing and is to follow soon, he’ll have a go at Wimbledon and won’t drag his feet like the other two when he calls it a day.
I am throwing party for Nole’s retirement, it’s going to be pig on the spit for that occasion, I mean, the best ever (or The GOAT) deserves proper farewell, doesn’t he😉
Sorry Zed, I am not as optimistic as you are, he is emotionally drained and can’t be motivated by the kids 15 years his juniors, no Roger no Rafa and motivation is down, maybe Wimbledon and that’ll be it, the race is over, the winner is Nole.

zed Says:

WB, I agree, I feel it too, how hard it is to keep going and I’m not even the one doing all the training, all the travelling, going through all the pain.

I think he will have enough motivation to go for one more Aus Open and therefore by default he will play the next USO and probably ATP final.

But if he does win Wimbeldon this year and does win the AO next year then it’s only 6 months to the next Wimbeldon, maybe that’s where he will draw the line, same age of 37 as Rafa.

Whatever he decides I’m sure it will be a family decision, wife, father, mother etc, all will contribute to deciding.

Wog Boy Says:

Zed, he’ll go until Olympics next year in Paris, that’ll be his last hurrah.

skeezer Says:

If you stayed on point about Rafa all good but you could not. You had to mention the angry one:


Wog Boy Says:

That Southafrican, Newzeland and British citizen deserved to be belted for his behaviour during the mach, Nole was too good to him, just gave him one looong stare and cold handshake.

Okiegal Says:

I can’t believe Novak is talking about another player’s behavior on court. I mean, we’ve seen him breaking racquets, screaming, chewing out the ball kids and hitting a lines person. Really?? Pot, kettle, black. C’mon, Novak, suck it up!

lylenubbins Says:

I love Rafa. It would be wonderful if he can heal and then have one last great season, but his body has a way of injuring something new all the time. We shall see.

Will Novak get to 23 Slams? We all assume he will, but the young guns are giving him real problems this year. So far, in 2023, he has lost to Musetti, Rune, Medvedev. Maybe he will return to dominance after the clay season . . .

Wog Boy Says:

I don’t know player that had so many distractions in his career as Nole had, some of them selfcreated as this one.

For a last few months he was struggling to make decision about the future of “Novak Tennis Centre” in Belgrade, so finally his (and his wife) company, with heavy heart, decided to return it to the city of Belgrade, that means that Serbia Open is gone too. From the 1st of June they are shutting down and all employees were informed to look elsewhere for the job and facilities are returned to the city to do what they are pleased to.

Those tennis courts and facilities were originally leased to his father and uncle company in 2009. under certain conditions, Novak and Jelena company took over in 2016 with big ambitions but lease was never properly put together and it was too many gray areas.

In order to succeed in Serbia you have to be good with political party that is in power and to be willing to pay protection racket to the very same political party.

Hopefully now he can concentrate on year or two that is left in him to play, it was obvious for the people that follows him that something was bothering him these last two months and also is clear why he moved Serbia Open to Banja Luka this year.

There is one thing that my people, that I dearly love, are know for and that is that they will never forgive you success, sad but true.

SG1 Says:

If anyone looks at the Big 3 objectively, I think it would be near impossible to argue that Djokovic is not the GOAT. His slam count, ATP 1000 record and record against his two (maybe three) main rivals almost certainly affirm his place as the GOAT. Then there’s the fact he’s one of the few to beat Nadal and clay as well as his record against Roger at SW19.

With all of the above said, I don’t know how anyone can claim that Novak is better than Nadal mentally. Any person claiming that has no credibility as a poster and just comes off as a fanboy. I’ve seen Rafa lose a lot of matches over the years but I never saw him lose a match because he gave up. That’s an incredible accomplishment over a 20 year career. More than that, you never see Nadal scream at his box or break rackets. His mind is more disciplined than Novak’s…plain and simple.

Novak’s mental game didn’t really ramp up until 2011. Until then, he was marginal mentally compared to his biggest rivals. Even after 2011, he had moments of mental weakness that were visually apparent. Being the GOAT doesn’t mean you’re perfect. Between the ears, Novak is more like the rest of us than Federer and Nadal and the fact that he sits atop the mountain should make us all feel good.

Dave Says:


Better go back and watch the 2015 Quarterfinals match against Djokovic at the French Open. Even one of the commentators said it, if not both of them during the match. I can’t remember the exact wording. But Nadal looked defeated before he was defeated.

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