In a sad statement to the world, we have learned that Rafael Nadal's retirement is on the horizon. He will skip the French Open.
Nadal's retirement on the horizon
It was not a shocking statement, but it did take the tennis world by storm. Nadal is out of the French Open 2024. The 14-time champion will not play in the tournament for the first time since his debut in 2005. The 22-time major winner added that he will stop for an undetermined length of time and that 2024 is “probably” going to be his last year on the professional tour. By the sound of it, Nadal's retirement is on the horizon.
What does this message mean for the French Open?
The obvious result is that Nadal won't win his 15th French Open or his 23rd Grand Slam. This makes the tournament relatively wide-open, with Djokovic being a slight favorite, but with difficult challengers like Alcaraz, Rune, Ruud, Medvedev, and Tsitsipas, to name a few, being a threat to the Serb's record-breaking Grand Slam.
Djokovic has not been in convincing form either. This is also supposed to be health-related, with a back problem bothering the 22-Grand Slam champ ahead of the French Open. He has played a couple of clay court titles, but has yet to reach a final or semi-final during the clay court season, which by his standards says that he is not a 100% percent ready.
Alcaraz has been on fire, but his loss to Maroszan, does raise some concerns about his elbow or form. He remains the world's number one and one of the key favorites to the title. However, there are other in-form players to watch out for like Holger Rune and Stefanos Tsitsipas, for example. Medvedev has arguably played his best clay court tennis ever and you can never count out Casper Ruud on a clay court.
What do you think about Nadal's withdrawal from the tournament and who will this help win the French Open?