Rafael Nadal withdraws from Madrid Open due to injury concerns

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MADRID: The 22-time Grand Slam singles winner Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the Madrid Open as his recovery from a hip injury is going much slower than expected in what might be a blow to his French Open preparations.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion has been out of action since January due to a left hip flexor injury sustained at the Australian Open. The problem has kept him out of the tournaments in Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo, Barcelona, and Madrid. The Madrid Open, which Nadal has bagged five times, starts on Monday.

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“Initially it had to be a six-to eight-week recovery period and we are now on 14. The reality is that the situation is not what we would have expected,” Nadal said in a message on Instagram on Thursday.

The 36-year-old missed tournaments in Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo and Barcelona, and he announced on Thursday that he will also miss the tournament in Madrid next week.

“All medical indications have been followed, but somehow the evolution has not been what they initially told us and we find ourselves in a difficult situation. The weeks are passing and I had the illusion of being able to play in tournaments that are the most important in my careers such as Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, and Roland Garros, and for the moment I have missed Monte Carlo and Barcelona. I will not be able to be in Madrid, unfortunately,” he added.

“The injury still hasn’t healed and I can’t work out what I need to do to compete. I was training but now a few days ago we decided to change course a bit, do another treatment and see if things improve to try to get to what comes next. I can’t give deadlines because if I knew I would tell you, but I don’t know. This is how things are now,” said the 22-time Grand Slam singles champion.

“I have no choice but to try to have the right attitude throughout this time, try to give myself the opportunity to compete in one of the tournaments that remain of the clay season and I have no choice but to work and be with the right mentality. I can’t give deadlines because if I knew I would tell you but I don’t know. This is how things are now,” the Spaniard added.

The French Open, which Nadal has won a record 14 times, takes place from May 28 to June 11 this year, and his participation is currently in doubt. (ANI)

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