Rafael Nadal announced Friday that he is withdrawing from the French Open due to a wrist injury.
The nine–time Roland Garros champion said that his wrist has been bothering him for a couple of weeks, and that the pain had increased following his second–round match against Facundo Bagnis on Thursday.
“Yesterday I played with an injection on the wrist,” Nadal said. “Yesterday night I start to feel more and more pain.”
Nadal said that an MRI came up negative, but that his wrist isn't 100%. He said that he doesn't need surgery and that he expects to heal fully within a few weeks, though he told Spanish–language press that at worst he could be out for three months.
Despite Nadal's failure to win a Slam title since the 2014 French Open, the No. 4 seed was widely considered one of the favorites to win the tournament. The Spaniard breezed through the first two rounds, beating Sam Groth and Bagnis in straight sets.
“I think I am working so hard and I worked so hard to recover the level, and I think I was there,” Nadal said of his recent play. “I played the last month and a half at [a] very high level competing against everybody, and I felt myself ready for this tournament.”
Nadal, who has 14 Slam titles over the course of his career, said that he is expecting to be ready for Wimbledon, but that he wasn't prepared to say with certainty whether he'll be fit for the tournament, which begins on June 27.
“We'll work hard to be ready for Wimbledon,” Nadal said.
Nadal was set to play Marcel Granollers in the third round. Granollers, who advances on a walkover, will face the winner of Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev.
Nadal's withdrawal means that No. 6 seed Jo–Wilfried Tsonga is No. 1 Novak Djokovic’s highest–seeded competition in the top half of the bracket.
- Stanley Kay