Saturday 14 December 2019

Rafa Nadal forced to withdraw from Wimbledon with wrist injury

Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from Wimbledon due to a wrist injury, the world number four has announced.
Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from Wimbledon due to a wrist injury, the world number four has announced.

Eleanor Crooks

Rafael Nadal will not play at Wimbledon because of the wrist injury that forced him out of the French Open.

The 14-time grand slam champion initially felt pain in his left wrist at the Madrid Open last month but it worsened at Roland Garros and he withdrew ahead of his third-round match.

Nadal was initially positive about his chances of playing at Wimbledon but his withdrawal comes as no surprise.

A statement from his agent Benito Perez-Barbadillo read: "Rafa Nadal announces today that he won't be taking part at this year's Championships at Wimbledon due to the injury he suffered on his left wrist during this year's Roland Garros event that forced him to withdraw after his second round match.

"His left wrist will continue (to be) immobilised for a maximum of two weeks. After that the player will start an anti-inflammatory rehabilitation and physiotherapy-based treatment once the cast is removed."

Nadal had hoped his wrist would only need to be immobilised for two weeks and that the injury would have cleared up in four weeks, giving him a chance of playing Wimbledon.

He wrote on his Facebook page: "I'm sad to announce that, after talking to my doctors and receiving the results of my last medical revision, I won't be able to play at Wimbledon this year.

"As you can all imagine, it's a very tough decision, but the injury I suffered at Roland Garros needs time to heal."

Despite his public stance, it would have been a surprise had Nadal been prepared to rush back for Wimbledon given his recent record.

The champion in 2008 and 2010, Nadal has failed to go beyond the fourth round in the last four years, losing to Lukas Rosol, Steve Darcis, Nick Kyrgios and Dustin Brown.

The Spaniard, who turned 30 last Friday, is also desperate to be fit for the Olympics in Rio having missed the London Games with knee problems.

Nadal has been selected as flag bearer for the opening ceremony, a role he had been due to perform in 2012.

This is the latest in a catalogue of serious injury problems during his career, with his knees causing the most trouble.

Nadal's last major period of absence came in 2014, when he missed three months, including the US Open, because of right wrist problems.

He struggled throughout 2015 to recover his best form, failing to win a slam title for the first time since 2004, and this latest injury is a particularly cruel blow because it looked like he was finally close to hitting his peak again.

Wimbledon is the second successive grand slam to lose one of its star names before the start of the tournament.

Roger Federer missed one of tennis' four major tournaments for the first time since 1999 when he pulled out of the French Open because of a back injury.

But the seven-time champion looks set to be fit for Wimbledon after making his comeback at the grass-court event in Stuttgart this week.

Who is your sportstar of the year?

Vote in the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards and you could win the ultimate sports prize.

Prizes include, tickets to Ireland's against Scotland in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.

Simply click here to register your vote

PA Media

The Left Wing: John Cooney on Ulster's European run and bouncing back from World Cup disappointment

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport