Indian Wells statement on Rafael Nadal withdrawal and fair move toward ticket-buyers

Indian Wells tournament director Tommy Haas reacts to Nadal being forced to withdraw from the tournament.

by Dzevad Mesic
Indian Wells statement on Rafael Nadal withdrawal and fair move toward ticket-buyers
© Getty Images Sport - Sean M. Haffey

Indian Wells Masters tournament director Tommy Haas highlighted Rafael Nadal will be greatly missed in the desert this year as the tournament also decided to do a fair thing and refund money to those who bought tickets for Thursday's evening session hoping to watch the Spaniard in action. 

During the opening day of the Indian Wells Masters, former world No. 1 Nadal announced that he would not be ready to return to make his comeback in the desert. Previously, the 22-time Grand Slam champion sustained a tear in his leg muscle in his first tournament of the year in Brisbane. 

On Thursday, Nadal was scheduled to meet Milos Raonic in the Indian Wells first round - a matchup that was set to highlight first-round action in the desert.

"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. He is one of the all-time fan favorites here, and we hope to see him back in Indian Wells again in the future," Haas said in a statement released.

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

In their statement, the tournament also encouraged those who purchased evening session tickets for Thursday to contact the box office regarding a refund. 

Nadal announced his withdrawal on X

After Nadal took part in the Netflix Slam on Sunday and competed well against Carlos Alcaraz, it looked like he was ready to also play in Indian Wells. But despite coming early to Indian Wells and doing his absolute best to be able to play in the desert, it just wasn't meant for Nadal.

"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," Nadal wrote on X. 

"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."

It remains to be seen if Nadal will be ready to play again at the Miami Masters, which starts on March 20th.

Indian Wells Rafael Nadal Tommy Haas