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Rafael Nadal withdraws from Indian Wells; Sumit Nagal named replacement

"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." Rafael Nadal said after withdrawing from the game against Milos Raonic on Thursday.

Written By: Sumeet Kavthale @sumeetkavthale New Delhi Updated on: March 07, 2024 16:07 IST
Rafael Nadal and Sumit Nagal
Image Source : GETTY Rafael Nadal at Las Vegas on March 3, 2024 and Sumit Nagal at the Australian Open 2024

Rafael Nadal's highly-anticipated return to tennis suffered a big blow as he withdrew from the Indian Wells Open 2024 on Thursday. The legendary Spaniard confirmed his decision with an emotional X post on the eve of his opening game against Milos Raonic in the Round of 128.

India's top-ranked Sumit Nagal has named his replacement who will face the veteran Canadian in the first round in California on Friday. 

Nadal, 37, revealed that he is not ready to feature in the top-tier ATP Tour tournament and added that he can't lie about it to himself and his fans. 

"It is with great sadness that I have to withdraw from this amazing tournament at Indian Wells," Nadal wrote in his X post. "Everyone knows how much I love this place and how much I love to play here. That’s also one of the reasons why I came very early to the desert to practice and try to get ready.

"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.  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"

After spending the 2023 season on the sidelines, the 22-time Grand Slam winner missed the Australian Open 2024 with a fresh injury that occurred at the Brisbane International. 

More to follow...

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