Rafael Nadal has opted out of the Barcelona Open, stating that he is “not yet prepared” for a comeback on the men’s ATP tour.
The 36-year-old Nadal has been grappling with a persistent hip injury that has also forced him to withdraw from the Monte Carlo Masters this week. The acclaimed 22-time Grand Slam victor’s participation in the French Open in May, where he is the reigning champion, remains uncertain.
Nadal’s last appearance was at the Australian Open in January, where he suffered a defeat by American Mackenzie McDonald.
In a tweet, the Spanish player expressed, “The Barcelona Open holds a special place in my heart, as it’s my chosen club and playing at home always evokes a distinctive feeling. Unfortunately, I am not yet ready, and thus, I continue my preparation for a return to the competitive arena.”
The Barcelona Open, which Nadal has clinched 12 times, commences on Monday and is among the final major clay-court events preceding the French Open in Paris on May 28.
Currently ranked 14th globally, Nadal was diagnosed with a left hip injury after losing in straight sets to McDonald during the second round in Melbourne.
Although the projected recovery time ranged between six to eight weeks, Nadal’s earliest possible return to the courts would be at the Madrid Open, scheduled for April 25.