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Rafael Nadal Pulls Out of French Open, Says 2024 'Is My Last Year' Playing Tennis

The tennis star confirmed in the post that he "unfortunately" won't be in Paris for the upcoming French Open

Tim Clayton/Corbis/Getty
Tim Clayton/Corbis/Getty

Rafael Nadal will not compete in the upcoming French Open, and plans on next year being his "last," the athlete has confirmed.

Nadal, 36, told fans on Instagram that his recovery process was taking longer than expected after he was injured in Australia in January. "Initially it had to be a six to eight week recovery period and we're on to number fourteen," he explained in the post, which was originally written in Spanish.

Nadal said the "reality" of the situation was not what he and his medical team "had hoped for," despite following all medical directions. "We find ourselves in a situation that is difficult," he added.

The tennis star confirmed in the post that he "unfortunately" won't be in Paris for the upcoming French Open.

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Additionally, Nadal said his recovery will continue over the course of a "few months" and will likely force him to miss Wimbledon as well.

While speaking at the Rafa Nadal Academy in Spain, he said he's hoping to give himself "the opportunity to enjoy next year," which will likely be his last, according to CNN.

Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty
Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty

Nadal explained, "That's my idea, even then I can't say 100% because you never know what can happen — but my idea and my motivation is to try to enjoy and try to say goodbye to all the tournaments that have been important for me in my tennis career during [next] year, and just try to enjoy that, being competitive and enjoying being on the court, something that today is not possible," per CNN.

The time away from the court will hopefully give him "much higher" chances of a successful final run next year, he said.

Related:Rafael Nadal Tells Fans He's 'All Good' After Injuring Nose with His Racket During Second Round US Open Win

In January, Nadal suffered the injury to his hip in the second round after a difficult loss to Mackenzie McDonald.

"It's a tough moment, it's a tough day, and you need to accept that and keep going," the defending champion and No. 1 seed, 36, said in a press conference following the Open's second round match. "Just can't say that I am not destroyed mentally this time because I would be lying."

PATRICK HAMILTON/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images
PATRICK HAMILTON/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

His exit came along with the injury, which Nadal suffered nearly 90 minutes into the match, according to the New York Times. Crouching down in pain, Nadal was checked out by a medical official before returning to the court. He returned to play on but was visibly limping, his pain appearing to stem from his right hip.

Related:Rafael Nadal Honors His 'Friend and Rival' Roger Federer After Retirement Announcement

"I don't know what's going on, if it's muscle, if it's joint," Nadal told reporters post-match. "I have history in the hip. I had to do treatments in the past, address a little. It was not this amount of problem. Now I feel I cannot move."

The athlete went on to say that he hoped the injury wouldn't sideline his career. "I like playing tennis," he noted. "I know it's not forever. I like to feel myself competitive. I like to fight for the things that I have been fighting for almost half of my life or even more.

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