Rafael Nadal drops out of Indian Wells, says he ‘can’t lie’ to fans, self

League: Tennis

Posted on: 07 Mar, 2024 at 03:29 AM

Credit: Albert Cesare / USA TODAY NETWORK

Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the BNP Paribas Open, citing concerns in a social media post about his readiness to play "at the highest level at such an important event," as he continues to battle back from a left hip injury.

"It is with great sadness that I have to withdraw from this amazing tournament at Indian Wells. Everyone knows how much I love this place and how much I love to play here," Nadal, a three-time winner there, posted Wednesday on X. "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."

Nadal, 37, lost to fellow Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz in an exhibition match on Sunday in Las Vegas, where he showed no obvious signs of issues with the hip injury he initially suffered at the 2023 Australian Open.

"We are disappointed that Rafa is unable to play in the BNP Paribas Open, but we wish him continued healing and hope he can be back in action again soon," tournament director Tommy Haas said in a statement Wednesday. "He is one of the all-time fan favorites here, and we hope to see him back in Indian Wells again in the future."

The 22-time Grand Slam champion has played in just one competitive tournament this year -- the Brisbane International in Australia. He won two matches before losing to Jordan Thompson in the quarterfinals.

He aggravated the hip injury during the tournament and pulled out of this year's Australian Open.

--Field Level Media