Nadal ‘still not ready,’ will skip Barcelona Open

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Rafael Nadal will miss next week’s Barcelona Open as he continues building his match fitness following a hip injury suffered at the Australian Open in January, the 22-time Grand Slam champion said Friday.

Nadal skipped tournaments at Indian Wells and Miami as well as the ongoing Monte Carlo Masters after suffering the injury that effectively ended his Melbourne Park title defense in a second-round loss to Mackenzie McDonald.

“Barcelona is a special tournament for me, because it’s my adopted club and playing at home is always a unique sensation,” the 36-year-old Nadal said on Instagram. “I’m still not ready and therefore I continue my preparation process for the return to competition.”

Nadal, a 14-time French Open champion, hopes to be fully fit for the clay-court Grand Slam starting in May.

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