Rafael Nadal has suffered yet another setback in his bid to return to regular tennis action as he withdrew from the Mexican Open with complaints of an injury.
The Spanish veteran was scheduled to play his first match of the tournament on Wednesday since retiring from the Australian Open with a hip injury.
But luck was not on his side as the 31-year-old announced just hours before his match with Feliciano Lopez that there was a recurrence of the injury.
“During my last training, I noticed again a puncture in the same area that I felt in Australia," Nadal said.
"The doctors told me it's impossible to play; it hurts and I have no choice. I always try to [play] until the last moment, but I can't."
The injury comes as a massive blow for the two-time Wimbledon champion as this is his sixth straight withdrawal from a tournament through an injury.
According to Alejandro Burillo, owner and president of the organisers of the tournament, Nadal was absolutely distraught.
Burillo said: "I talked to Nadal and he was crying in his villa for two hours.
“He could not play because of his injury, but he will recover to return in the following tournaments because the fans are looking for him.”
Absolutely heartbreaking stuff.
An already glittering career that could have been even more glittering had injuries not taken their toll throughout the years.
With a host of tournaments coming up, Nadal faces a race against time to be fit, with the first one being the Masters Series 1000 event in Indian Wells, which begins on March 8.
Although, reports from Spain suggest that the Spanish legend might be looking to skip Indian Wells as well as the following competition in Miami to focus on a successful return for the clay court season.
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