Rafael Nadal - Australian Open 2023

Rafael Nadal casts doubt over Indian Wells participation after pulling out of Middle East swing

Rafael Nadal has put a big question mark over whether he will be able to compete at the first Masters 1000 event of the year, after pulling out of the Middle East swing with injury.

It has been a challenging start to the year for Nadal, who has only won one out of his four matches this season. The Spaniard suffered his latest injury, a grade two tear in the iliopsoas muscle in his left leg, in his second round defeat at the Australian Open.

In a social media post after his defeat to Mackenzie McDonald, Nadal confirmed that the normal recovery time for this injury is six to eight weeks.


Rafael Nadal Twitter post

Therefore, it did not come as much of a surprise to Nadal’s fans when he pulled out of the Dubai Tennis Championships and the Qatar Open, which both take place in the coming weeks.

However, it is unknown as to whether the 22-time Grand Slam champion will be fit for Indian Wells, where he was runner-up to Taylor Fritz last year.

The first half of the sunshine double begins on the 6th March, which falls around the six week mark of the Spaniard confirming his injury, with Nadal facing a race against time to maintain his top 10 status.

Nadal first entered the ATP top 10 on the 25th April 2005, and has been there ever since. However, his incredible record of almost 19 years in the top 10 will come to an end if he does not recover in time to play Indian Wells.

The current No.6 is defending 500 points from his title in Acapulco last year and 600 points from reaching the final of Indian Wells, and when these points fall from his ranking he will drop outside of the top 10.

Nadal’s career continues to be plagued with a variety of different injuries, with the Spaniard having to pull out of the Wimbledon semi-final only last year.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.