Tennis - Rafael Nadal Press Conference - Rafa Nadal Academy, Mallorca, Spain - May 18, 2023 Spain's Rafael Nadal announces that he has withdrawn from the French open during a press conference REUTERS/Miquel Borras | MIQUEL BORRAS

Mallorcan tennis legend Rafa Nadal this afternoon told the international press in Manacor that he is not going to play in this year’s the French Open, a tournament he has won a record 14 times, due to the hip injury which he picked up at the Australian Open at the start of the year.

Nadal has never missed the French Open since winning the title there when he made his debut in 2005.

The Mallorcan explained that he has been training hard but has not managed to reach the physical and mental levels to compete in Paris so he is going to take the next few months off to concentrate of getting back in condition to hopefully return to tennis before the end of the year, even play the Davis Cup, and to be on top form to return to action next year which he admitted will probably be his last, although he added that one can never predict the future, but that is his and his team’s plan of action for the moment.

"The evolution of the injury I sustained in Australia has not gone as I would have liked. I have lost goals along the way, and Roland Garros becomes impossible," Nadal told reporters.

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"I'll look to be 100% ready for next year, which I believe will be the last year of my professional career," Nadal told reporters at a press conference.

"I'll not establish a date for my return. I'll see how my body responds and take it from there ... if I can come back until the end of the year for the Davis Cup."

Nadal, who has dominated the claycourt season for years, has competed at Roland Garros every year since claiming the first of his men's record 22 major titles in Paris in 2005.

"If I keep playing at this moment, I don't think I can be there next year... to be able to play the tournaments that I want to say goodbye to those who have supported me.

"At this moment, I won't be able to be at Roland Garros. With what that tournament is for me, you can imagine how difficult it is. I have no intention of continuing to play for the next few months."