Nursing hip injury, Nadal to skip Monte Carlo

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Rafael Nadal will miss next week’s Monte Carlo Masters tournament having failed to recover in time from an injury that has sidelined him for months, he said Tuesday, shortly before top-10 players Carlos Alcaraz and Felix Auger-Aliassime also pulled out of the tournament..

Nadal was forced to skip the Masters 1000 event in Indian Wells last month as well as the Miami Open that ended last week, as he continues his recovery from a hip issue that ended his Australian Open title defense in the second round in January.

“Unfortunately I am still not ready to compete and will miss one of those special tournaments I always love to play,” Nadal said in a statement.

“Monte Carlo is and has been a key event in my career, but unfortunately I will have to miss it again since I am still not ready to compete without the risk of getting injured. I will continue the process of getting ready to come back.”

His absence from competitions resulted in him dropping four places to 13th in the rankings, ending his record 9½-week stay inside the top 10.

Nadal, who has won Monte Carlo 11 times in his career still hopes to be fit for the French Open in May, a clay-court tournament he has dominated for years, having won there 14 times.

World No. 2 Alcaraz, who had an injury-plagued start to the season, lost in a semifinal at the Miami Open last week to Italian Jannik Sinner.

“After two months of competing, I am happy to be back home but sad that I finished my semi-final match in Miami with discomfort,” the US Open champion said in a post on social media.

“After visiting my doctor today … and being evaluated, I won’t be able to go to Monte Carlo to start the clay court tour.

“I have post-traumatic arthritis in my left hand and muscle discomfort in my spine that needs rest to cope with all that is to come.”

Canadian Auger-Aliassime, ranked seventh in the world, said he has been struggling with a left knee issue.

“I decided it was the smartest decision to take some time off so I’m able to fully heal and recover before my next tournament at the Madrid Open,” Auger-Aliassime wrote on Instagram.

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