Rafael Nadal withdraws from BNP Paribas Open with tennis future murky

Rafael Nadal is back off the court.

The Spanish tennis star announced Wednesday that “with great sadness,” he’s withdrawing from the 2024 BNP Paribas Open before taking part in the first round.

Nadal just took Carlos Alcaraz in The Netflix Slam on Sunday but said on X on Wednesday that he was not ready to go for the California tournament.

He was supposed to take on Milos Raonic in the Paribas Open on Thursday night.

Rafael Nadal of Spain waves to the crowd in his match against Dominic Thiem of Austria during the Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024. AP

“I have been working hard and practicing and you all know I took a test this weekend but I don’t find myself ready to play at the highest level at such an important event,” Nadal wrote. “It is not an easy decision, it’s a tough one as a matter of fact but I can’t lie to myself and lie to the thousands of fans.

“I will miss you all and I am sure the tournament will be a great success.”

Last January, Nadal injured his hip flexor at the Australian Open, which he then underwent surgery for in June.

He has largely been off the court ever since, skipping this year’s Australian Open in January after injuring a muscle in the surgically repaired hip during his quarterfinal match in the Brisbane International.

He then missed the Qatar Open in February and said he was focusing on getting healthy and being ready for the Paribas Open.

Rafael Nadal competes in The Netflix Slam, a live Netflix Sports event at the MGM Resorts | Michelob Ultra Arena on March 03, 2024 in Las Vegas. Getty Images for Netflix © 2024

Now, it’s unclear when Nadal will return to the court again this year with his tennis future in doubt.

Last May, he said that 2024 likely would be the last year of his career.

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