Tennis Nadal also gives up Madrid a month before Roland Garros

Tennis: Nadal also gives up Madrid, a month before Roland-Garros

Rafael Nadal, a month away from Roland-Garros, still hasn’t played a match on clay: at the Masters 1000 in Madrid, which starts on Monday, he retired on Thursday with an intractable hip injury that puts the continuation of his career in question.

“It has been a long time since I communicated directly with you. It’s been difficult weeks and months,” the 36-year-old Spaniard confessed in a video, accompanied by a text posted to his Instagram account on Thursday, looking serious.

“I was the victim of a major injury in Australia (in January) in the psoas (hip flexor, Ed). I was originally supposed to be out between six and eight weeks, but we’re already approaching the fourteenth (…) The situation isn’t what we had hoped for. We followed all the medical prescriptions but for unknown reasons the injury didn’t develop as we were told at the beginning and we found ourselves in a difficult situation,” Nadal explained.

“Weeks go by and I had hopes of being able to compete in tournaments that are the most important of my career, such as Monte-Carlo, Barcelona, ​​​​​​Madrid, Rome and Roland-Garros, and for now I missed Monte’s – Carlo and Barcelona. And unfortunately I can’t be in Madrid either,” he said.

Roland Garros in the viewfinder

In the twilight of his career, Nadal hopes to celebrate his birthday on June 3 at Roland-Garros (May 28 – June 11), where he will be aiming for a 15th title to break the record of Grand Slam titles 23 he is currently working with -holds with Novak Djokovic.

The former world No. 1 has not played in the competition since losing in the second round of the Australian Open on January 18 to American Mackenzie McDonald in three sets. He’d felt a stabbing pain in one hip in the second set but went on until the end of the game as he struggled to move.

He has just over a month to recover and only one major tournament to get his feet wet, in Rome (May 8-21), ahead of the French Open.

“I can’t set a deadline”

On Thursday, Nadal said the injury “still hasn’t healed” and that he “can’t work hard enough to be able to play competitively”.

“I had gotten back into training but a couple of days ago we decided to change the approach a bit, start another treatment to see if things improve and try to get back in time for the next deadlines . I can’t give any deadlines, if I knew I would tell you but I don’t know,” the Spaniard said in his video posted on Thursday.

Since his 14th coronation at Roland-Garros in spring 2022, where he had triumphed despite a numbed left foot to stem the pain caused by the chronic illness he has suffered from since he was 18 (Müller-Weiss- Syndrome),” Rafa continues to collect physical disorders.

A ruptured stomach in particular had forced him to give up his Wimbledon semifinals a month later.

His long absence from the courts on March 20 knocked him out of the top 10 in the world rankings for the first time since April 2005.