Tennis fans, looking forward to watching some great action from their favorites at Roland Garros, faced a second setback today as nine-time winner Rafael Nadal announced that he was pulling out. Last week, Roger Federer had also withdrawn from the tournament citing fitness problems.
Just a day after achieving a landmark victory – his 200th grand slam win – a straight sets triumph over Facundo Bagnis which sealed his entry into the third round, Nadal said he would not play further.
At a hurriedly-called news conference, the 29-year-old Spaniard walked in looking visibly dejected, a blue strapping binding his left wrist. He said he had played the match against Bagnis after taking an injection to numb the pain, but medics had cautioned that he could risk a fracture by continuing to play, so he had no choice but to pull out.
The desperation to become the first player in history to win 10 singles titles at a grand slam had driven him to take the risk of playing at Roland Garros this year Nadal said, but the record was not meant to be.
The former World No. 1 was optimistic that once the wrist was immobilized, the healing would begin and recovery would be quick. He said he’s looking forward to the Wimbledon matches which are set to begin on June 27.
With star players Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer out of the reckoning, tennis pundits are now predicting a showdown between Andy Murray and current World No. 1 Novak Djokovic at the French Open final.