Rafael Nadal Withdraws From Indian Wells Before Playing in First Round

Just three days after he played in the inaugural “Netflix Slam,” Rafael Nadal announced that he is withdrawing from the 2024 Indian Wells Open before his first-round match.

This is big news for Nadal fans, as the 2024 season could potentially be his last on tour—although he hasn’t given a clear answer yet.

The Spaniard was slated to face Canadian Milos Raonic on Thursday night in the popular American tennis tournament. He felt like he wasn’t fully recovered from injury.

“It is with great sadness that I have to withdraw from this amazing tournament at Indian Wells,” Nadal posted on Wednesday night. “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 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.”

Indian Wells was supposed to be Nadal’s second appearance on the ATP Tour so far this season after he missed nearly the entire 2023 season after the Australian Open. Nadal returned to tennis at January’s Brisbane Invitational, but withdrew from the Australian Open because of a micro tear on a muscle.

Nadal played against World No. 2 Carlos Alcaraz in Las Vegas on Sunday in the “Netflix Slam,” winning the first set 6–3. But Nadal ended up losing the second set and the tiebreak (which went to 14–12) to lose the match.

As of right now, Nadal’s next expected performance will be at the Barcelona Open in April, ahead of the Spaniard’s favorite Grand Slam, the French Open. Nadal has won 22 Grand Slam titles, with 14 of those coming from the clay tournament.


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