With a track record virtually unrivaled at the courts of the famous Roland Garros, Rafael Nadal's absence this year was something unimaginable and would come as a seismic shock to the tennis world.
For nearly two decades, Nadal has reigned supreme on the Parisian clay, carving out a legacy that will be felt for generations to come. Yet, 2023 will most probably see the tournament unfold without the “King of Clay” for the first time since 2004, an absence that has stirred concerns among the fans.
While the Spaniard is yet to announce his withdrawal, Relevo reports that Nadal will miss this year's Roland Garros, and the news seems to be confirmed by the fact that the 22-time Grand Slam champion is set to hold a press conference at his academy at 4 PM tomorrow.
In January, during the second round of the Australian Open, Nadal suffered an injury, leading to an extended hiatus from the sport. Initially projected to last six to eight weeks, Nadal's recovery has been fraught with complications, extending the timeline of his return indefinitely, resulting also in the most recent withdrawal from the 2023 Italian Open in Rome.
Despite every effort to recover in time for Roland Garros, it seems that the physical discomfort persists. The official statement from Rafael Nadal's team as reported by José Morgado reads:
"Rafa Nadal will hold a press conference tomorrow at 4pm at the Rafa Nadal Academy by MoviStar to inform about his participation in Roland Garros. If he plays or not and the reasons either way will be only be communicated tomorrow."
While the news are yet to be officially confirmed by Nadal himself, it seems as to be inevitable and comes as a shock to the tennis community.