Rafael Nadal Indian Wells Masters 2022

Rafael Nadal reveals ‘great sadness’ to withdraw from Indian Wells

Rafael Nadal has pulled out from the tournament at Indian Wells this week, with the Spaniard admitting that he ‘can’t lie’ to himself or the fans.

Nadal spent nearly a year on the injury sidelines after obtaining a serious psoas tear at the 2023 Australian Open, to which he later underwent arthroscopic surgery on.

The former world No.1 returned to action at the Brisbane International in January, reaching the quarter-finals before suffering a ‘micro tear’ in his defeat to Jordan Thompson.

However, Nadal suggested that it was nowhere near as serious as his previous injury and subsequently entered tournaments in Doha and Indian Wells.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion pulled out of the Qatar Open after admitting he was ‘not ready’, but seemed more determined to play Indian Wells following his exhibition match against Carlos Alcaraz on Sunday.

But now, Nadal has announced on social media that he won’t be able to play his match against Milos Raonic later today, “It is with great sadness that I have to withdraw from this amazing tournament at Indian Wells.”

He continued, “Everyone knows how much I love this place and how much I love to play here. That’s 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 [against Alcaraz] but I don’t find myself ready to play at the highest level at such an important event.

“It is not an easy decision, it’s a tough one as a matter of fact but I can’t 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.”

Nadal has been replaced by lucky loser Sumit Nagal, who will play former Wimbledon finalist Raonic later today.

It is currently unclear as to when Nadal will next take to the matchcourt, with the world No.652 not entered into the Miami Open.

Inside the baseline…

It is such a disappointing announcement from Rafael Nadal, who genuinely appeared ready to return after travelling to Indian Wells early and competing in the Las Vegas exhibition with Carlos Alcaraz. Every withdrawal does really make it seem like it is Nadal’s last year, with it appearing like everything is now set on his beloved clay court season. The Monte Carlo Masters is probably likely to be a next target return date, where Nadal is a record 11-time champion.

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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.