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Spanish Media: Nadal Will Withdraw From Roland Garros

By Richard Pagliaro | Wednesday, May 17, 2023

The king of clay won't be defending his Roland Garros crown.

A chronic hip injury will force Rafael Nadal out of Roland Garros, Spanish media reports.

More: Rune Dethrones Defending Champion Djokovic in Rome

The 14-time Roland Garros champion will meet the media in Mallorca at 4 p.m. local time tomorrow where he is expected to officially announce his Roland Garros withdrawal, Spain's Marca reports.

Nadal has been in a race against time to try to regain his health in time for Roland Garros, which starts on May 28th.

The former world No. 1 has even undergone daily double therapy sessions for his hip, but Spanish media reports he's not physically ready for the rigors of best-of-five match tennis on red clay in Paris.

If reports are true, it will mark the end of an era.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion has played Roland Garros every year since his 2005 debut when he made a rousing run to his maiden major championship defeating Mariano Puerta in the final.

Nadal owns an astounding 112-3 career Roland Garros record and has captured the French Open crown in five of the last six years.

If Nadal does indeed pull out of Paris, rival Novak Djokovic will have a shot at capturing a men's Grand Slam record 23rd major championship at the French Open without having to beat the game's clay-court GOAT to do it. 


A post shared by Rafa Nadal (@rafaelnadal)

Last June, a dynamic Nadal roared through 11 consecutive games demolishing buddy Casper Ruud 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 in the 2022 Roland Garros final to win a record-extending 14th Roland Garros crown.

Two days after celebrating his 36th birthday, Nadal ruled as a champion for the ages capturing his 22nd career Grand Slam championship to become the oldest men’s champion in Roland Garros history. Nadal, who won his eighth major since celebrating his 30th birthday, surpassed fellow Spaniard Andres Gimeno, who was 34 when he won Roland Garros 50 years ago.

The 36-year-old Spanish superstar has been sidelined with a hip injury since he suffered an Australian Open second-round loss to American Mackenzie McDonald on January 17th.

Earlier this spring, Nadal fell out of the Top 10 for the first time since 2005. Injury-induced inactivity has caused Nadal's ranking to drop to No. 14; he's defending 2,000 ranking points in Paris.

Photo credit: Getty