The defending champion pulled out of the Rome Masters on Friday as he remains hampered by a nagging hip injury…
Rafael Nadal, the 22-time Grand Slam winner and 10-time Italian Open champion, has announced his withdrawal from the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome due to an ongoing hip injury. This announcement has raised doubts over his ability to compete in the upcoming French Open, which begins on May 28.
Nadal took to Twitter on Friday to share the news in Spanish, stating, “I am very sorry to announce that I will not be able to be in Rome. You all know how much it hurts me to miss another one of the tournaments that have marked my professional and personal career for all the love and support of the Italian tifosi [fans].”
The 36-year-old Spaniard has been sidelined since his second-round loss to Mackenzie McDonald at the Australian Open in January. The left hip flexor injury, initially expected to keep him out for two months, has forced Nadal to withdraw from Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo, Barcelona, and Madrid.
Despite recent improvements in his condition, Nadal acknowledges that he is not yet ready to return to competitive play. He tweeted, “Despite having noticed an improvement in recent days, there have been many months without having been able to train at a high level and the readaptation process [takes time] and I have no choice but to accept them and continue working.”
Nadal’s coach, Carlos Moya, remains optimistic, telling French newspaper L’Equipe, “We work more or less an hour and a half a day and continue to improve day by day. It is not even a matter of whether you are an optimist or a pessimist, just that you observe the progress every day.”
This withdrawal marks the first time Nadal has entered the French Open without participating in any European clay-court tournaments beforehand. If he competes in Paris, the world No. 14 will be seeded outside of the Top 8 for the first time in 19 appearances, potentially facing early clashes with players like Novak Djokovic or Carlos Alcaraz.
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