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Nadal withdraws from Vegas exhibition match in March, raising doubts about Indian Wells

The Spaniard hinted that he’s still not 100 percent fit as he pulled out of a March 5th exhibition in Vegas.

Rafael Nadal, Melbourne 2023 Rafael Nadal, Melbourne 2023 | © Zuma / Panoramic

Rafael Nadal has pulled out of a March 5 exhibition match in Las Vegas, which points to a possible late withdrawal at Indian Wells. The Spaniard was set to compete at the MGM Rewards The SLAM Presented by Chase Sapphire scheduled for Sunday, March 5 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, along with Carlos Alcaraz.

The event announced Nadal’s withdrawal on Friday, and added two players – Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe to the bill.

Nadal: Timing of recovery an issue

Nadal said the following in a statement released by the event via email, hinting that he isn’t fully recovered from the hip injury he suffered at the Australian Open.

“I am very sad for not being able to come to Vegas and play in this amazing event with Carlos at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Unfortunately, the timing of my recovery doesn’t make it possible to be there ready to play. I am sure that we will find another date to celebrate this event and have fun. I would like to thank the fans and event organizers who have been in contact with me all the time, showed a lot of support and have been extremely understanding.”

The Spaniard has been out of action since the Australian Open, where he suffered a grade 2 left hip flexor injury in his second-round loss to Mackenzie McDonald. He has recently pulled out of February events at Doha and Dubai, as he continues to rehab the injury.

The BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells takes place from March 6 to 19, where 36-year-old Nadal is a three-time champion with a 59-11 overall record.

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