Rafael Nadal withdrew injured on Tuesday from the Indian Wells and Miami Masters, with the Spaniard’s ranking now set for a fall from his longtime Top 10 perch.
The 36-year-old will extend his leg injury absence from the courts to a solid two months as he bypasses the first Masters 1000 pair of the season with Indian Wells beginning next Wednesday.
The 22-time Grand Slam champion last competed in the Australian Open second round, losing to Mackenzie McDonald.
Nadal played the final a year ago, losing to Taylor Fritz.
With the points he will drop, the Spaniard will leave the ATP elite grouping for the first time since April, 2005 – a massive presence of nearly two decades.
“I am sad that I won’t be able to compete at Indian Wells nor Miami,” Nadal posted in a video on social media.
“Very sad not to be there. I’ll miss all my US fans but I hope to see them later this year during the summer swing.”
Nadal will now concentrate all of his energies on being fit for the start of his beloved clay season in Monte Carlo from April 9.
Main photo:- Injured Rafa Nadal loses second round Australian Open 2023 match to Macenzie McDonald by Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd