Rafa Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz in 'sad' news as tennis fans left heartbroken

The Spanish players have both announced their withdrawals from the Monte Carlo Masters.

Rafa Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz, pictured here on the tennis court.
Rafa Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz have both withdrawn from the Monte Carlo Masters. Image: Getty

Rafa Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz have both announced their withdrawals from the Monte Carlo Masters in what's being described as 'Black Tuesday' by Spanish media. Nadal hasn't played since his second-round exit from the Australian Open in January in which he suffered a hip injury.

The 22-time grand slam champion initially said he'd miss between six and eight weeks as he recovered, and was hopeful of being back for Indian Wells and Miami. However he missed both ATP 1000 events, and announced on Tuesday that he won't be able to the play the upcoming clay-court event in Monte Carlo either.

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"Hi everyone, I'm still not ready to compete at the highest level," the 36-year-old tweeted. "I will not be able to play in one of the most important tournaments of my career, Monte Carlo."

The clay-court event serves as a key lead-up tournament to the French Open. Nadal has won the Monte Carlo Masters a record 11 times, and the French Open a staggering 14 times.

Earlier this month, Nadal shut down reports that he would be playing in Monte Carlo. “I don't know who gets this information,” he said. “Obviously if it were true, I would confirm it, but unfortunately I can't. I'm following my course and I don't know when I'll play again, that's the truth.

“I'm in a phase of increasing work. If I knew when I was going to return, I would say so, but I don't know. I can't confirm that I will play in Monte Carlo, things are seen day-by-day. I prefer to say things when I really know them.”

Nadal's injury lay-off has seen him fall to World No.14 in the rankings. It marks the first time since 2005 that he hasn't been ranked in the top 10.

Rafa Nadal, pictured here after his injury at the Australian Open.
Rafa Nadal looks on after his injury at the Australian Open. (Photo by Will Murray/Getty Images)

Carlos Alcaraz and Rafa Nadal both out of Monte Carlo

Tennis fans were left saddened to hear of Nadal's withdrawal on Tuesday, and things got even worse just minutes later when World No.2 Alcaraz also announced he won't be playing. The 19-year-old said he is dealing with hand and back problems that he picked up at the Miami Open, where he lost in the semi-finals at Jannik Sinner.

"After two months abroad, I am happy to return home but sad because I finished my last match in Miami with physical discomfort," Alcaraz wrote on Twitter. "I will not be able to go to Monte Carlo to start the clay court tour. I have post-traumatic arthritis in my left hand and muscular discomfort in the spine that needs rest to prepare for everything that is to come."

Alcaraz's loss in the semi-finals in Miami saw him fall to World No.2, with Novak Djokovic recapturing the top spot despite not being allowed to play at Indian Wells or Miami. Alcaraz was defending a swathe of rankings points because he won the Miami Open title last year, while Djokovic wasn't defending any points because he also missed both legs of the 'Sunshine Double' in 2022.

Djokovic will headline the field in Monte Carlo, which begins on Sunday. The 22-time grand slam champion hasn't played since a loss to Medvedev in the semi-finals in Dubai at the start of March, which snapped his 20-match winning streak.

"I don’t think about that I lost the No.1, I lost the Sunshine Double. I don’t think about it,” Alcaraz said about falling to World No.2. “Of course it’s a shame, you know, but I had an opportunity to get the Sunshine Double.

"But, I mean, I think I am gonna have more years to try to get it. But all I can think about is to improve my level to beat Jannik. Yeah, for me, I just lost a semi-final of a tournament.”

with agencies

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