Rafael Nadal Withdraws From Indian Wells Open

Rafael Nadal Withdraws From Indian Wells Open

California [US] : Spanish tennis legend Rafael Nadal withdrew from the ongoing Indian Wells Open competition on the eve of his first-round match, saying that he is “not ready to play at the highest level”.

The 37-year-old veteran made his return to competitive tennis in Brisbane this January after a hip flexor injury kept him sidelined for almost an year. He missed on Australian Open after sustaining another muscle tear.

During an exhibition event on Sunday at Las Vegas, the Spanish star lost to youngster Carlos Alcaraz but looked all set to fight for his fourth Indian Wells title, but he pulled out of his match against Canadian Milos Raonic.

Speaking on X (formerly Twitter) as quoted by Sky Sports, Nadal said, “It is with great sadness that I have to withdraw from this amazing tournament.”

“Everyone knows how much I love this place and how much I love to play here at Indian Wells.”

“That is also one of the reasons why I came very early to the desert to practice and try to get ready. I have been working hard and practicing and you all know I took a test this weekend but I dont find myself ready to play at the highest level at such an important event.”

“It is not an easy decision, it is a tough one as a matter of fact but I cannot lie to myself and lie to the thousands of fans. I will miss you all and I am sure the tournament will be a great success,” he concluded.

Nadal’s replacement will be lucky loser Sumit Nagal, who will also be the first Indian in the main draw of an ATP Masters 1000 event since Prajnesh Gunneswaran back in 2019 in Miami.

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