No one was waiting for such news. Rafa Nadal withdraws from Roland Garros 2023 and announces his retirement in 2024. The Spaniard’s body refuses to obey him.
We knew this day would come someday. We knew the end was near. We also knew we wouldn’t be ready for it. We are not. Writing this text involves the use of hundreds of tissues and reddened cheeks from wiping tears. Unfortunately, nothing will save us from what we have to convey in this article. Nothing will undo it. The king is leaving.
On Thursday, May 18, Rafael Nadal called an emergency press conference at his tennis academy in Mallorca. So even then we knew that we could only hear one thing. Rafa Nadal is not going to Roland Garros. However, we were not in any way mentally prepared for the further revelations that the Spaniard shared during the conference. 2024 will be Rafa Nadal’s last season as a professional tennis player. Though it’s not known if he’ll make it. The Spaniard’s body refuses to obey him.
After the pandemic, Nadal struggled with so many injuries and constant pain that his body stopped responding to all methods of treatment and rehabilitation. The game gave the Spaniard no pleasure, and even more suffering. Therefore, the Spaniard must stop. He is forced to take a break from tennis and give his body time to recover. How long will it take? Unknown. Will it work? Unknown. The Spaniard hopes so. He deeply believes that such a radical move will regenerate his body and give him a chance to start in the 2024 season. With his current health, this move is the only hope he’ll be able to step out onto the court once more and say goodbye to all the tournaments he loved to play in. Including at Roland Garros, which he has to give up this year, and this is the most important slam of his career. It was here that he lifted the trophy for a historic 14 times. After that it will end. The Spaniard will put down his racket and end his career.
Those who, like us, cannot believe in these revelations, we leave with a quote from Nadal from the aforementioned conference. These words, which are like a cold shower, although they hurt, make you get used to the fact that in 2025 Rafael Nadal will no longer be a tennis player.