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Rafael Nadal pulls out of Indian Wells Masters and Miami Open due to injury

Rafael Nadal pulls out of Indian Wells Masters and Miami Open due to injury
© Reuters
Rafael Nadal announces his withdrawal from the upcoming Indian Wells Masters and Miami Open as he continues his recovery from a hip injury.

Twenty-two-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal has been forced to withdraw from the upcoming Indian Wells Masters and Miami Open due to injury.

The 36-year-old - who has been plagued by physical problems in the past year - has not taken to the court since losing to Mackenzie McDonald in the second round of the Australian Open in January.

During that contest, Nadal was visibly struggling with a hip injury, and scans subsequently showed a tear, which was expected to rule him out for between six and eight weeks.

With the Indian Wells Masters starting on March 6, Nadal could have been in line for a comeback in California, but the Spaniard needs more time to fully recuperate from his hip problem.

As a result, Nadal will also not compete in the second ATP 1000 event of the month - the Miami Open - which is one of two Masters events he is yet to win along with the Paris Masters.

"Took my time off, started rehab, gym and physiotherapy as instructed by the doctors. Getting ready to come back in the best conditions," Nadal said in a tweet.

Rafael Nadal in action at the French Open on June 5, 2022© Reuters

"I am sad that I won't be able to compete at Indian Wells nor Miami. Very sad not to be there. I'll miss all my US fans but I hope to see them later this year during the summer swing."

Nadal is a three-time Indian Wells champion, winning titles in 2007, 2009 and 2013, and he lost to the USA's Taylor Fritz in straight sets in last year's final.

Meanwhile, he has now been absent from the last five editions of the Miami Open since competing in the 2017 final, losing to Roger Federer, who completed a Sunshine Double with his victory.

Indian Wells tournament director Tommy Haas said in a statement: "We wish Rafa continued healing, and hope to see him back at the BNP Paribas Open next year."

Nadal was seen on the court on Monday as he steps up his rehabilitation, and the 36-year-old may now aim for a return at the 2023 Monte-Carlo Masters, which takes place from April 8 to April 16.

Nadal has won a record 11 titles at the Monte-Carlo Masters - including eight in a row between 2005 and 2012 - before enjoying a three-tournament winning streak between 2015 and 2017.

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