Rafael Nadal withdraws from Indian Wells and Miami despite return to court

Rafael Nadal in action

The Sunshine Double has suffered a double blow as Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the Indian Wells Open and Miami Open as he continues to recover from injury.

Nadal was spotted on court at his Mallorca Academy this week, but he was hitting on clay and has now announce his withdrawal from Indian Wells.

The Spaniard began his season at the United Cup before losing in the second round of the Australian Open to American Mackenzie McDonald. After his Melbourne exit, the 36-year-old underwent tests and reported the results to fans.

“Good afternoon. I have undergone medical tests after losing yesterday,” Nadal wrote in January. “The MRI shows a grade 2 injury in the iliopsoas muscle in my left leg. Now it’s time for sports rest and anti-inflammatory physiotherapy. Normal recovery time 6 to 8 weeks.”

Indian Wells tournament director Tommy Haas confirmed that Nadal had pulled out of the first ATP 1000 event of the season.

“We wish Rafa continued healing, and hope to see him back at the BNP Paribas Open next year,” Haas said.

The 22-time Grand Slam winner later confirmed that he would also miss the Miami Open.

Nadal reached the final of last season’s tournament at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden before suffering an injury in the final against eventual winner Taylor Fritz.

He still plays an incredible power game even in the latter part of his career and it doesn’t seem like Nadal will change that.

As pointed out by Stan Wawrinka, Nadal is known for his explosive power on court.

“They are different personalities and players. If we’re just talking about the game, for me Roger Federer it’s really talent, ease and touch. Rafael Nadal it’s strength, power and Novak Djokovic is a bit of perfection,” the he said.

“It’s true that when you play Rafa in the Roland Garros final, for me it’s one of the most difficult challenges about what I’ve been able to experience in my career,” Wawrinka said. “For me, it was a chance to play against the greatest players in the history of tennis.”

Nadal had earlier withdrawn for a scheduled exhibition match against Carlos Alcaraz in Las Vegas.

He said: “I am very sad for not being able to come to Vegas and play in this amazing event with Carlos at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

“Unfortunately, the timing of my recovery doesn’t make it possible to be there ready to play. I am sure that we will find another date to celebrate this event and have fun. I would like to thank the fans and event organizers who have been in contact with me all the time, showed a lot of support and have been extremely understanding,” Nadal said.

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