Rafael Nadal withdraws from Italian Open as injury problems persist ahead of Roland Garros defence
Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the Italian Open as he continues to battle injury problems ahead of the French Open later this month.
The 36-year-old has not played since suffering a second-round defeat to Mackenzie McDonald at the Australian Open, when he was clearly not fully fit on his first return to Melbourne since his remarkable Grand Slam win in 2022.
Nadal has been absent from the entire clay-court swing, missing the Monte-Carlo Masters, which he has won 11 times, and the Madrid Open, a trophy he has listed on five occasions.
He is a ten-time champion at the Italian Open but will not be competing in Rome this year, with the hip injury remaining a significant issue and preventing Nadal from making his competitive return.
“I’m very sorry to announce that I will not be able to be in Rome,” Nadal said.
“You all know how much it hurts to miss another one of the tournaments that have marked my professional and personal career for all the love and support of the Italian fans.
“Despite having noticed an improvement in recent days, there have been many months without having been able to train at a high level and the re-adaptation process has its times and I have no choice but to accept them and continue working.”
It means Nadal will arrive at Roland Garros, should he be fit, without a match on clay this year. The Grand Slam, which the Spaniard has won 14 times, gets underway in Paris on May 22.