The news had been in the air for some time, but now there has been the official announcement. The Spanish champion Rafael Nadal, twenty-two times winner of Grand Slam titles, will not participate in the Indian Wells and Miami tournaments, the next ATP 1000 on the calendar and which will be played on American hard courts.
Nadal was injured during the match valid for the second round of the Australian Open, a challenge that saw him lose against the American MacKenzie McDonald. During that match, Rafa suffered a muscle problem and according to the first indications he had to return directly after 6-8 weeks.
All confirmed and Rafa, barring sensational twists, should return to the ATP tournament in Montecarlo and prepare the season on clay in the best possible way. Rafa posted a video on social media where he was intent on training and said: "Hi everyone.
I haven't communicated with you for a while. I took time off, started rehab, gym and physical therapy as directed by the doctors. We are preparing to return in the best conditions. I'm sad that I can't compete in Indian Wells or Miami.
Very sad not to be there. I will miss all my US fans but hope to see them later this year during summer swing!"
The bad news for Rafa didn't end there
The Majorcan champion will miss the American ATP Masters 1000s and, for this reason, after almost 18 years, he will soon officially leave the Top Ten.
Rafa's longevity records are impressive and the Iberian tennis player is the only one to have remained in the Top Ten since April 2005. Extraordinary numbers but with the Spaniard who therefore soon leaves the world Top 10.
In fact, Rafa will lose the points in Indian Wells where he made the final last year and consequently his exit is now mathematical.
At the Australian Open he was the protagonist of a journey that lasted two matches, then nothing.
Rafael Nadal's season didn't start in the best way, with an injury that prevented him from continuing in the rest of the first part of the tennis year: he missed all the subsequent hard-court matches due to a second-degree injury to the iliopsoas muscle of the left leg.
Six weeks out, forfeit in Dubai, where he would have found himself in the same draw with Novak Djokovic after the first Grand Slam appointment, a return scheduled for Indian Wells and Miami, but plans have finally changed.
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