Rafael Nadal withdrew from the Monte Carlo Masters where he was expected to make a comeback.© AFP

Rafael Nadal withdrew from the Monte Carlo Masters on Thursday, where the 22-time Grand Slam winner was expected to make his ATP Tour comeback. “Unfortunately I have to tell you that I am not going to be playing in Monte Carlo. My body simply won’t allow me,” said the 37-year-old Spaniard on social media. The record 11-time Monte Carlo winner missed virtually all of the 2023 season through injury and has only played at the Brisbane International this season, where he felt a hip injury flare-up.

He lost against Carlos Alcaraz in a Las Vegas exhibition in March before pulling out of the Indian Wells Masters, where he had first intended to make his comeback.

“Even if I am working hard and making the maximum effort every day with all the will to play and compete again at tournaments that have been very important for me, the truth is that I can’t play today,” Nadal continued.

“You have no idea how hard this is for me to not be able to play these events.

“The only thing I can do is to accept the situation and try to look at the immediate future keeping the excitement and will to play in order to give me a chance for things to get better.”

The claycourt specialist has dropped to 646th in the ATP rankings and was due to use a protected ranking of ninth to get into the main draw in Monte Carlo, the first clay-court Masters 1000 event of the 2024 season.

The last of Nadal’s 11 wins in the Principality was in 2018, he fell at the semi-finals in 2019, the quarters in 2021 and missed the 2020, 2022 and 2023 editions.

He was due to use Monte Carlo as a springboard to perhaps his last ever French Open, a Grand slam event he has won a record 14 times.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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