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Rafael Nadal Withdraws from Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters

Rafael Nadal of Spain withdrew from the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters tournament. EPA-EFE/SEBASTIEN NOGIER

The king of clay won’t be making a Monte-Carlo comeback.

Eleven-time Monte-Carlo champion Rafael Nadal officially withdrew from next week’s Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters.

Two top contenders—US Open champion Carlos Alcaraz and Felix Auger-Aliassime—also withdrew from the season’s first clay-court Masters 1000 event.

“I am still not prepared to compete at the highest level so I will not be able to play in one of the most important tournaments of my career, Monte Carlo,” Nadal said in a statement posted on social media. “Unfortunately I am not yet able to play with maximum guarantees and I continue my process of recovery and preparation, hoping to return to competition soon.”

Fourteen-time Roland Garros champion Nadal has not played since his Australian Open second-round loss to American Mackenzie McDonald as he continues recovery from a hip injury.

Injury-induced inactivity saw Nadal’s historic 912-week reign inside the world’s Top 10 end. The two-time Olympic gold-medal champion is now ranked an unfamiliar No. 14.

Nadal captured his 11th Roland Garros crown back in 2018. Despite his withdrawal, Nadal’s team has expressed optimism for his recovery in time for his Roland Garros title defense last month.

Former world No. 1 Alcaraz also withdrew citing arthritis in his left hand and “muscular discomfort in the spine that needs rest” in the aftermath of his epic and physical three-set Miami Open semifinal loss to Jannik Sinner.

“After two months abroad, I am happy to return home but sad because I finished my last match in Miami with physical discomfort,” Alcaraz said in a statement on social media. “After visiting my doctor @drlopezmartinez in Murcia today and being evaluated, I will not be able to go to Monte Carlo to start the clay court tour.

“I have post-traumatic arthritis in my left hand and muscular discomfort in the spine that needs rest to prepare for everything that is to come. See you in 2024 @rolexmontecarlomasters!”

World No. 7 Auger-Aliassime pulled out to rest his cranky left knee injury.