‘SAD TO SEE’: Rafa Nadal announcement leaves tennis fans shattered

Rafa Nadal has withdrawn from Indian Wells and the Miami Open after failing to recover from a hip injury he suffered at the Australian Open. The Spanish champion suffered a shock loss to Mackenzie McDonald in the second round at Melbourne Park and was clearly hampered by his hip.

Speculation has been rife that Nadal would pull out of Indian Wells and Miami, despite saying he wanted to be back in action 6-8 weeks after the Australian Open. On Tuesday, organisers confirmed the crushing news about Nadal.

The 22-time grand slam champion said he had started rehab and physiotherapy, as instructed by doctors. “I am sad that I won’t be able to compete at Indian Wells nor Miami. Very sad not to be there,” he said on his Twitter account. “I’ll miss all my US fans but I hope to see them later this year during the summer swing.”

Nadal was runner-up at Indian Wells last year, losing to Taylor Fritz in the final. He won the event in 2007, 2009 and 2013. “We wish Rafa continued healing, and hope to see him back at the BNP Paribas Open next year,” tournament director Tommy Haas said on Tuesday.

Nadal will now turn his attention to the clay-court season and his favourite event – the French Open. On Monday he was spotted training on clay at his academy in Mallorca in a huge sign that he was planning to withdraw from Indian Wells and Miami.

It means Nadal’s extraordinary top-10 streak will come to an end, with the 36-year-old set to fall lower than World No.10 for the first time in 18 years. Nadal first moved into the top 10 after his win at the Barcelona Open in 2005 as an 18-year-old, and has never left.


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