The sport changed dramatically when Rafael Nadal became a professional tennis player. That didn’t take long to happen since he has been at the top from the beginning. Especially on clay he was just unstoppable.

Nadal reassured his enormous potential when he was only 19 years old. The day he turned that age he defeated non-other than Roger Federer in the semifinals of Roland Garros, but 48 hours later he was also winning the 2005 French Open. His dominance has been impressive with a combination of superior talent and a relentless spirit.

Unfortunately, injuries have limited him a lot during his career. This season has been another problematic year for him considering his last game was at the 2023 Australian Open back in January. He confirmed he will not be present in the second Grand Slam of the calendar, although that was not all.

Did Rafael Nadal retire?

On Thursday, May 18, he was part of a press conference he organized to share an update on his status for the upcoming French Open. The Spaniard said that he won’t play Roland Garros this year due to a hip injury. However, he gave another information that took most by surprise.

Nadal announced he plans to retire from tennis in 2024. The physical issues he has been dealing with made him decide to stop playing the sport. The 36-year-old player said he wants to play all the tournaments that made his career historic, so his intention is to return next year to leave on the court.

“You can´t keep demanding more and more from your body, because there comes a moment when your body raises a white flag. Even though your head wants to keep going, your body says this is as far as it goes. You never know how things will turn out, but my intention is that next year will be my last year. I don’t deserve to end my career like this, in a press conference”, Nadal said.