Rafael Nadal is not competing at the French Open 2023 as he is yet to recover from the hip injury he suffered during the Australian Open. Nadal hasn't played a match since his second-round defeat to Mackenzie McDonald in Melbourne.
The Spaniard's injury was initially scheduled to take 6–8 weeks to heal, and he initially withdrew from just the Indian Wells and Miami Masters. While Nadal was expected to return to action during the clay-court season, he ended up withdrawing from the Monte-Carlo Masters and the Barcelona Open too.
He later announced his withdrawal from the Madrid Open, claiming that his recovery process was going slower than he thought.
The Spaniard eventually pulled out of the Italian Open before announcing in a press conference that he would not compete at the French Open because he was not in the physical condition to do so.
"It has been very difficult months because we were not able to find the solution to the problem that I had in Australia. 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," Nadal told reporters.
"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 in," he added.
The Spaniard also said he would be taking a break from tennis to keep himself in the best possible shape ahead of the 2024 season, which would probably be his last.
"My ambition is to try to enjoy next year, which will probably be my last year in professional competition. My motivation is to try to say goodbye to all the important tournaments. 2024 will probably be my last year. I'm not going to set a return date before that. It could be reaching the Davis Cup at the end of 2023," Nadal said.
The Spaniard's absence from this year's French Open makes it the first edition of the clay-court tournament since 2004 to not feature him.
Rafael Nadal has won the French Open on 14 occasions
The Spaniard made his debut at the clay-court Major in 2005 and won it by beating Mariano Puerta in the final. He then bagged the next three editions on the trot, beating Roger Federer in the title clash on each occasion.
After losing to Robin Soderling in the fourth round of the 2009 French Open, the King of Clay won the next five editions of the tournament. That streak helped him surpass Max Decugis for the record of most titles at the clay-court Major.
Nadal took his Roland Garros tally to 13 by winning another four successive titles from 2017 to 2020. He won his 14th and, to date, last title at the French Open by beating Casper Ruud 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 in the 2022 final.