Casper Ruud says Rafael Nadal made "the best decision for himself" when he decided to withdraw from the French Open and prioritize returning to being fully healthy again. Last week, Nadal held a special press conference in Manacor, where he announced his recovery from an injury suffered to his psoas muscle didn't go as planned and he would not be able to play his best tennis at the French Open.
Also, Nadal revealed his intention to retire from pro tennis in 2024 and retire after playing in some of his favorite and most special tournaments. Competing and doing well at the 2024 French Open and Paris Olympics will be on top of Nadal's wish list.
Ruud, who lost to Nadal in the 2022 French Open final, thinks the Spaniard could definitely go out by winning one final French Open.
Ruud backs Nadal to have a strong 2024 French Open run
"It's a decision that is best for Rafa and the team, as I'm sure they tried all that they could to be ready for Roland-Garros but couldn't do it this year.
But I think we will see Rafa again at Roland-Garros. I know him well enough to know that he never gives up - and as he said himself, I think he wants and I think he hopes for a better finish to his career. I mean, it’s inevitable that the end is near.
But I believe that we will see Rafa at least one more time in Roland-Garros feeling ready and fit to top the goal to win the tournament. He never gives up. So I just think he needs a little time off now. And I know that he's been trying to push sort of the clock and the time to be ready for Roland-Garros.
And this year he couldn't do it. But now he has a full year," Ruud said on Eurosport's Ruud Talk. In his press conference in Manacor, Nadal said he didn't deserve to go out this way injured. That's why Nadal wants to return to tennis and play a bit more before retiring.
Casper Ruud recounts Roger Federer's early Laver Cup heroics
Roger Federer beats Rafael Nadal to set a new tennis record!
Casper Ruud gets very honest on how it felt to be watched by Roger Federer
The French Open will be relocated in 2025
Roger Federer hilariously answers Rafael Nadal's question at 2023 Laver Cup
Tom Kim leads French Open after first round