Nadal Reportedly Injured Himself During Netflix Slam Against Alcaraz

Nadal Reportedly Injured Himself During Netflix Slam Against Alcaraz

by Nurein Ahmed

Rafael Nadal's late withdrawal from this year's Indian Wells raised a few eyebrows, and a source close to the Spaniard has revealed the primary cause.

Although Nadal's miss from Indian Wells just a day before his first-round match against Milos Raonic was surprising, former World No. 1 Andy Roddick predicted it would happen.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion was committed to playing in California and even traveled to the United States a little earlier to get some much-needed practice. By his own admission, he had not played a competitive set, let alone a match, since Brisbane.

It was in Queensland, Australia, when Nadal's joyful comeback turned into a real nightmare. He wasted match points in a quarterfinal defeat to Jordan Thompson. During that match, he injured his hip for a second time, although it was unrelated to his first injury 12 months ago.

The latest setback ruled him out of the Australian Open, which had maximized ticket sales upon the assumption that Nadal would play. Many believe it will most likely be his final trip to play a tournament Down Under.

Nadal also missed the Qatar Open in February, which was projected to be his return tournament. Instead, he focused on getting his body match-fit for the Netflix Slam exhibition and Indian Wells. Just a few days separated these two events.

After playing the Netflix Slam, which he lost to Carlos Alcaraz, Nadal withdrew from the BNP Paribas Open, explaining that he was "not ready" to compete at the highest level. It has emerged that the 37-year-old felt discomfort in his back during the closing stages of the match.

That is the word of Monte Carlo tournament director David Massey, who spoke to RMC Sport. Massey was in California to watch the match but also strike a face-to-face conversation with the Spaniard, presumably to sign him up for this year's Monte Carlo Masters, which he intends to play.

"On Sunday again, I was in California, I had a meeting with Rafa in the private house of Larry Ellison, the owner of the Masters 1000 in Indian Wells. Incidentally, the boss of Oracle. I heard familiar noises, it was Rafa Nadal hitting on clay. It was impressive. He hit the ball very hard."

"During the exhibition in Las Vegas against Carlos Alcaraz, on the penultimate serve of his match he felt a little discomfort. The examinations revealed nothing."

Nadal allayed fears of a possible injury. His withdrawal was precautionary. He knows he doesn't have many years left on the pro scene and was keen on listening to his body to prolong his career, at least to play the clay season one more time.


You may also like