Rafael Nadal's French Open withdrawal a great shame for the sports world, says Nicolas Almagro

Nicholas Almagro lost to Rafael Nadal thrice in the French Open quarterfinals
Nicholas Almagro lost to Rafael Nadal thrice in the French Open quarterfinals

Rafael Nadal broke millions of hearts on Thursday as he withdrew his name from the 2023 French Open. The Spaniard further revealed that 2024 could be the last time we see him play on the ATP Tour.

The 22-time Grand Slam winner has been sidelined due to a hip injury since his second-round loss to American Mackenzie McDonald at the 2023 Australian Open. Despite missing loads of tournaments, fans were hoping that the 14-time French Open winner would return to the tour to defend his French Open title in Paris later this month.

To shed some light on his future on the tour and his participation in the Paris Major, the Mallorca-born held a press conference on Thursday, during which the southpaw revealed that he would miss the upcoming French Open. This marks the first time since 2004 that the Spaniard is missing the Paris Major.

Soon after the veteran broke the news, the tennis world reflected on his impending absence from the tournament, which has become synonymous with him over the years. Nicolas Almagro, a three-time French Open quarterfinalist, joined the conversation as he turned to social media and declared that Nadal's absence from the French Open is a shame for world sports.

"What a strange sensation there will be in @rolandgarros without its King @RafaelNadal and what a great shame for World sport, but knowing that you will try it in your particular Last Dance next year we will be looking forward to experiencing it!!! Cheer up Genius of Geniuses," he said.

Co-incidentally, Almagro was beaten by the Majorcan in the quarterfinals on all three occasions when he reached the last eight.

The now-retired Spaniard also hoped to witness the former World No. 1's comeback next year.

@RafaelNadal It has been a privilege to play with you in Paris and a real “bitch” at the same time, but those memories will always remain and will last in my mind!!! We still trust you and I know you will come back and I know you will win once again @rolandgarros," Almagro added.

Rafael Nadal set to drop out of top 100 for the first time since 2004

2022 French Open - Day Fifteen
2022 French Open - Day Fifteen

Rafael Nadal is currently ranked No. 14 in the ATP singles rankings, but the 36-year-old could fall out of the top 100 when the 2023 French Open ends.

The defending champion will fail to defend his 2000 points due to his withdrawal from the Grand Slam and hence will drop to No. 116 in the updated rankings after the end of the Paris Major. This would also be the first time in two decades that the former World No. 1 would be out of the top 100 in the singles rankings.

What is the foot injury that has troubled Rafael Nadal over the years? Check here

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Edited by Shyam Kamal
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