Rod Laver pens heartfelt note for Rafael Nadal after Spaniard withdraws from French Open 2023

Rafael Nadal will miss the French Open for the first time since 2004
Rafael Nadal will miss the French Open for the first time since 2004.

Legendary tennis icon Rod Laver penned a heartfelt note for Rafael Nadal after the Spaniard announced his withdrawal from the upcoming French Open.

Nadal was last seen in action during his second-round loss to Mackenzie McDonald at the 2023 Australian Open. Since then, he has missed all the tournaments on the tour, including the claycourt swing.

On Thursday, May 18, the former World No. 1 held a press conference at his tennis academy and shed some light on his injury and his future on the tour. Nadal confirmed that he was withdrawing from the 2023 Roland Garros event, making it the first time he won't take part in the tournament since 2004.

"The injury I suffered in Australia has not evolved as expected. I have lost goals along the way. Roland Garros becomes impossible. I will not be able to be there after many years and with what it means this appointment for me," Nadal said.

11-time Grand Slam winner Laver took to social media in reaction to Nadal's heartbreaking announcement. The Australian remarked that the Spaniard's fighting spirit and dedication to tennis were one of a kind in tennis.

"You will be missed at Roland Garros this year @RafaelNadal, the King of Clay always. Your outstanding physical power, fighting spirit and dedication to tennis is unrivalled in the modern era. Rest up, mate. I look forward to seeing you again, on court or off," Laver tweeted.

As a consequence of his withdrawal from the Paris Major, Nadal is set to drop out of the ATP Top-100 for the first time in almost two decades. He will lose 2000 points and could drop to World No. 116 when the clay Major concludes.


Rafael Nadal says he intends for 2024 to be his last year on ATP tour

Rafael Nadal at the 2023 Australian Open.
Rafael Nadal at the 2023 Australian Open.

Rafael Nadal further revealed that 2024 could be his last year on the ATP tour. Speaking at the press conference, he stated that continuing his break from tennis is important now as he intends to be at his best when he says goodbye next year.

"If I keep playing right now, I don't think I'll be able to be there next year. My intention is for next year [2024] to be my last and to be able to play the tournaments I want to say goodbye to those who have marked me," he said.

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

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Edited by Anirudh
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