Indian Wells Masters: Nadal and Wawrinka withdraw from tournament

Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka have both pulled out of the Indian Wells Masters tournament

Spanish ace Rafael Nadal Photo: Marianne Bevis

Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka are two of the big name casualties ahead of next week’s Indian Wells Masters.

The ATP tour will head to California, United States after the Dubai Duty Free championship over the past week ahead of the clay court season.

Ten-time French Open champion Nadal has cited a hip problem as his reason for withdrawing from The Mexican Open, Indian Wells Masters and the Miami Open.

The 31-year-old has been struggling with a number of fitness problems in 2018 so far after the Spanish number one exited at the Australian Open at the quarter-final stage back in January.

Nadal’s withdrawal will help to protect his body ahead of a demanding clay court campaign where the former Wimbledon champion will be the clear favourite to win an eleventh Roland Garros crown.

Nadal wrote on his Facebook page on Friday:

“Hi everyone. Unfortunately, the injury I suffered in Acapulco before starting the tournament is in the same area as the one suffered in Melbourne.

“I won’t be able to play in Miami or Indian Wells as I need to recover. It was very painful to retire from Acapulco and it’s very hard as well to not play in the USA. I will miss you and I will do everything that’s possible to be back there in 2019. Thank you.”

Another big name that won’t feature in the Indian Wells betting odds next week is Wawrinka.

The 32-year-old Swiss ace, like Nadal, has been forced to pull out of the ATP tournament due to a knee problem.

Wawrinka’s 2017 season was cut short following a knee operation back in August.

The three-time Grand Slam winner was forced to retire against Ilya Ivashka at The Open 13 Provence match in Marseille last week.

Warwinka shed light on his decision to withdraw from the Indian Wells Masters.

“Coming back from a big surgery is complicated and after having played a few tournaments I have discussed with my team that it is best for me to build on the progress and go back to practice,” said Wawrinka.

“I’m working hard on and off court and hope to be back within a few weeks.”

Wawrinka will also be harbouring ambitions for a strong run in the French Open after the Swiss number two won the tournament in 2015.

His compatriot Roger Federer is the defending Indian Wells champion.

The Australian Open champion won in straight sets against Wawrinka in the 2017 final to win the tournament for the fifth time.

Federer won the ATP title in Rotterdam last month after a 6-2 6-2 victory over Grigor Dimitrov to continue his excellent start to 2018.

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