Rafael Nadal’s Indian Wells and Miami participation in doubt after Acapulco withdrawal
What’s the story?
World No. 2 Rafael Nadal is now doubtful for the upcoming Indian Wells and the Miami Masters tournaments after withdrawing from the Abierto Mexicano Telcel just hours before his first round showdown with compatriot Feliciano Lopez on Tuesday. The 16-time Grand Slam champion felt a pinch in the same iliopsoas area of his right leg due to which he had to retire in the fifth set of his quarter-final clash with Marin Cilic at the Australian Open last month.
The Spaniard told in the press conference that he is not ready for any drastic decision. Indian Wells is definitely a great goal but if participating in it means aggravating his injury further, he will let go of it.
In case you didn’t know
Nadal has been a two-time champion at this Mexican beach resort town, winning in 2005 and 2013. He was the defending runner-up this time, having lost the final to Sam Querrey last year.
The heart of the matter
The Abierto Mexicano Telcel was supposed to be his first tournament since his retirement in Melbourne more than a month ago. The former World No. 1 had been training without any difficulty ever since he arrived in Acapulco on Friday.
It was on Monday evening during his final practice session with Adrian Mannarino that the Spanish ace felt the problem. He was advised by doctors on Tuesday morning to opt out of playing as he might risk doing further damage.
The withdrawal, which Nadal described as a ‘hard blow’, has already dented his hopes of wresting back the World No. 1 ranking from Roger Federer any time soon.
Nadal will undergo tests in Acapulco to assess the extent of the injury and will decide next week if he can get fit by the time the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells starts on March 8.
No matter how disappointing it is to see Nadal not able to build on his excellent 2017 season, his health is of paramount importance. With a mountain load of points to defend in the clay season, the French Open champion should not rush into action and give his injury enough time to heal.