Rafael Nadal - Australian Open 2023

Rafael Nadal withdraws from Indian Wells and Miami leaving ranking record at serious risk

Rafael Nadal has confirmed that he will be missing this year’s sunshine double of Indian Wells and Miami as he recovers from injury.

Nadal picked up his latest injury in a shock second-round defeat to Mackenzie McDonald at the Australian Open, and has been on the sidelines ever since.

It was revealed that the Spaniard had picked up a grade two tear to the iliopsoas muscle with a recovery time of six to eight weeks, so the sunshine double has always seemed unlikely.

Unsurprisingly, then, 22-time Grand Slam champion has now confirmed his withdrawal saying: “It’s been a while since I don’t communicate with you.

“[I have] took my time off, started rehab, gym and physiotherapy as instructed by the doctors. Getting ready to come back the in the best conditions.

“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.”

Not only does this mean that the 36-year-old will miss the first two ATP Masters 1000 events of the year, but also his record of being part of the ATP top 10 is under real threat.

Nadal has been part of this elite group since 2005, longer than any other player in history, and with his ranking points from making the 2022 final of Indian Wells coming off in the next couple of weeks it seems unlikely that he will be able to remain there for much longer.

Indian Wells tournament director Tommy Haas sent his best wishes to the three-time champion in the desert saying: “We wish Rafa continued healing and hope to see him back at the BNP Paribas Open next year.”

Nadal will now turn his focus entirely to the clay season and he has already been spotted practicing at his academy on the surface for the first time since getting injured.

Nadal is currently scheduled to make his comeback at the Monte Carlo Masters, which begins on the 9th April, in preparation for a 15th Roland Garros title bid.

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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.