Former world number six Gael Monfils has revealed that he is likely to miss the 2023 Australian Open as he focuses on his recovery from a foot injury.
The 36-year-old sustained his season-ending issue against Great Britain's Jack Draper at the Canadian Open in August and was forced to retire from that round-of-16 match.
Monfils - who is now ranked 52nd in the world - did not take to the court again for the remainder of the 2022 season, and he will be able to use a protected ranking to enter tournaments if he is out injured for at least six months.
However, with the Australian Open taking place in January, Monfils would not be access his protected ranking Down Under, and he has decided not to play at the upcoming Grand Slam tournament as he looks ahead to the French Open on home turf.
"I know that there is a protected ranking, when you don't play for a certain amount of months. I know that if I take it, I have to not play the Australian Open to reach the six months needed and that will be my decision," Tennis Head quotes Monfils as saying.
The Frenchman enjoyed a strong opening to the 2022 season, winning his 11th ATP singles career title at the Adelaide International in January by beating Karen Khachanov in straight sets in the final.
Monfils then progressed to the quarter-finals of the Australian Open before losing to Matteo Berrettini in five sets, and he also reached the fourth round of the Indian Wells Masters before being knocked out by Carlos Alcaraz.
However, after a second-round exit at the Madrid Open to Novak Djokovic, Monfils missed the French Open to undergo heel surgery and spent three months out before returning in Canada, where he would pick up his latest problem.
There have been suggestions that the French veteran could soon end his competitive career, but he remains determined to qualify for his home Olympics in Paris in two years' time and hopes to play until the age of 40.
"2023 is an important year for me, a year of transition, transition between my injuries and the fact to be competitive to try to qualify for Paris 2024. I would not like to miss the Olympics, it would be my last one," Monfils added.
"I hope that 2024 would not be my last year but maybe the one after that. Before, I said that I wanted to play until I'm 40 but the more time I spend with my daughter, the more time I'm thinking maybe I'll play a bit less."
Monfils matched his best result at the Australian Open with his quarter-final appearance earlier in 2022, having also reached the last eight in 2016 before bowing out to Milos Raonic.
The former world number six reached the semi-finals of Wimbledon in 2008 and the last four of the US Open in 2016, but he has never won a Grand Slam title.