Rafael Nadal is missing the French Open this year due to a hip injury, and it appears he will be out for an extended period of time. Benito Perez-Barbadillo, Nadal’s representative, said the tennis star had hip surgery on Friday and will probably miss five months in total.
“Rafa will begin his progressive functional rehabilitation in a few hours and the normal recovery process is estimated at five months, always taking into account respecting the biological times of said structure,” Perez-Barbadillo said, via Reuters.
Nadal has been a staple at the French Open for two decades, winning 14 titles in 18 attempts. While he has missed the other three major tournaments at times over his career, the last time he missed a French Open was in 2004, the year before he won his first.
The surgery timetable means Nadal will definitely miss Wimbledon, and most likely the U.S. Open as well. The next major he will be able to enter is probably the Australian Open at the start of 2024.
At a press conference last month, Nadal announced his withdrawal and that it was necessary for him to do so if he wanted to try and play one more year on tour, alluding to 2024 as his potential final season.
“I hope to give myself the opportunity to enjoy next year, that’s probably going to be my last year in the professional tour,” Nadal said. “That’s my idea, even [though] I can’t say that 100%.”
The last time Nadal played in a tournament was this year’s Australian Open, where he lost in the second round. As a result, the 37 year-old fell out of the ATP top 10 for the first time since 2005.