Nadal withdraws from Indian Wells

Stan Wawrinka has been battling a knee injury since calling his 2017 season early in August. Anne Christine Poujoulat  AFP

Two days after withdrawing from the Abierto Telcel in Acapulco, the world No. 2 is still dealing with a first grade Psoas muscle lesion (hip) that has been affecting him since the Australian Open quarter-finals match lost to Marin Cilic.

Wawrinka says in a statement he will miss the Masters-level Indian Wells and Miami events to prepare for the European clay-court season.

He wrote Friday "the injury I suffered in Acapulco before starting the tournament is the same area as the one suffered in Melbourne".

On Wednesday, Nadal announced that the same injury forced him to withdraw from the ongoing Mexican Open in Acapulco, leaving his status uncertain for a USA swing that included the BNP Paribas Open and the Miami Open.

"We are disappointed that Rafa will not be able to compete for the title at this year's BNP Paribas Open", said Tommy Haas, the Indian Wells Tournament Director.




The tournament is scheduled to begin Monday and continue through March 18 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

French duo Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga have also been ruled out of Indian Wells due to knee injuries with Jeremy Chardy, Laslo Djere and Lukas Lacko replacing the trio in the main draw. "I've enjoyed being back on tour playing matches and this gives me even more motivation to go back on the practice court".

Wawrinka is one of the strongest players on clay and reached the final of the French Open previous year after winning the title in 2015.

It means Nadal would have been "defending" 690 points while Federer, who won both tournaments, could lose as many as 2000.

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