Rafael Nadal confirms forfeit for Indian Wells and Miami due to leg injury and threatens to tumble out of the top 10 for the first time in 18 years: “I am very sad about it”


2023 is not yet the year of Rafael Nadal. In January, he suffered yet another serious injury during the second round of the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the year. He lost the match and is still sidelined. The Masters tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami are also coming too soon.

Jeroen DePauw

In recent years, the 36-year-old Spaniard has been struggling from one injury to another. Miraculously, he managed to win the Australian Open and Roland Garros last year with half his strength, but since a forfeit for the semi-finals at Wimbledon in mid-2022, things have only gone downhill.

At the Australian Open earlier this year, Nadal injured himself again, this time on his leg. He suffered a second-degree injury to the iliopsoas muscle of the left leg and would be out for 6-8 weeks. Although the Spaniard has already started training very carefully in his home base in Mallorca, the top tournament of Indian Wells (8 to 19 March) comes too early. The subsequent tournament in Miami also has to be missed by the 22-time Grand Slam champion.

Nadal himself confirmed the forfeits on Instagram: “It’s been a while since I communicated with you,” he begins his message, showing a video of his rehabilitation. “I took my time and started rehabilitation, gym and physiotherapy as instructed by the doctors. I hope to be ready soon to come back in the best conditions.”

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“I regret not being able to participate in Indian Wells or Miami. I am very sad not to be there. I will miss all my American fans, but I hope to see them later this year at the American summer tournaments.”

ATP record at risk

Nadal – as often in recent years – may opt to skip all American tournaments at once due to injury and only come into action again at the gravel tournaments of Monte Carlo, Rome and Madrid, the preparation tournaments at Roland Garros. The French Grand Slam is without a doubt the Spaniard’s favorite tournament. In June he hopes to win for the fifteenth (!) time.

Not only does this decision mean that Nadal will miss the first two ATP Masters 1000 events of the year, but his long-running ATP top 10 record will also be in jeopardy. The Spaniard has been in the top ten of the world rankings continuously since 2005, making him the only player ever to be in the top ten in the world for so long. But Nadal will now lose his ranking points from Indian Wells last year and seems to fall out of the top ten for the first time in eighteen years.

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