Rafael Nadal withdraws from French Open due to injury: ‘I could not move my wrist’
Nine-time champion Rafael Nadal pulled out of the French Open on Friday with a left wrist injury.
The Spaniard had looked in prime form in his first two matches, losing just nine games against Sam Groth and Facundo Bagnis, but he revealed at a hastily arranged press conference that he would not be able to continue.
A dejected-looking Nadal said he first felt pain during his quarter-final win over Joao Sousa in Madrid and the problem had continued to get worse.
“I arrived here with a little bit of pain but it was something I was able to manage, but every day it was a little bit worse,” he said. “We spent a lot of hours here working so hard to try to play.
“Yesterday I played with an injection, with anaesthetic, and I could play but yesterday night I started to feel more and more pain and this morning I felt I couldn’t move the wrist.
“I had a scan and the results are not positive. It’s not broken but if I keep playing it’s going to be broken the next couple of days.”
Nadal said the problem was to do with a tendon sheath and if it had not been Roland Garros, where he had hoped to become the first man ever to win 10 singles titles at a grand slam, he would not have started the tournament.
“That’s part of life, part of my career. I’m going to keep going hard to recover as quick as possible,” he said
Fellow Spaniard Marcel Granollers, who Nadal had been due to face, receives a walkover into the fourth round.
On court, Andy Murray’s campaign gathered pace as he made light work of big-serving Croatian Ivo Karlovic to reach the fourth round.
After gruelling five-setters in his first two rounds, the second seed gave a masterclass in nullifying the game’s biggest serve, breaking twice in succession at the start of the match to set up a 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 victory. “Any match you play, the quicker you get it done, the better, especially in these events when the best of five it can go long,” Murray said.
“So it was nice to win quickly today. I spoke about that the other day, if it was possible to get this one done quickly, it gives me a chance to kind of recover from the first few days, which is good.”
Karlovic had won 95 per cent of his service games in the last year, more than any other player, but that counted for little on Court Suzanne Lenglen.
“It’s a match-up that I like. I have had good success against him in the past and I have always enjoyed playing against serve and volleyers, normally,” Murray said.
Kei Nishikori puffed out his cheeks in relief after he beat Spanish dangerman Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 2-6, 6-4 in a third-round tussle that featured 16 breaks of serve.
The players fought out 37 break points, with each dropping serve eight times, and Verdasco, 32, won more points than Nishikori in the match, 154 to 151.
In the end, however, Nishikori’s younger limbs carried him over the finishing line, setting up a fourth-round meeting with French favourite Richard Gasquet.
Defending champion Stan Wawrinka overcame Jeremy Chardy 6-4, 6-3, 7-5.
Agnieszka Radwanska survived a second-set wobble to qualify for the last 16 with a 6-2, 6-7, 6-2 victory over Czech Barbora Strycova. The second-seeded Pole, opened up a 3-0 lead in the second.
But she completely lost her composure and world No 33 Strycova reeled off five straight games on the way to taking the tiebreak.
Order was restored in the decider, however, as Radwanska broke four times to wrap up the win.
No 4 seed Garbine Muguruza defeated Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer 6-3, 6-0 to progress, and Simona Halep (6), saw off Japan’s Naomi Osaka 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Two seeds, Lucie Safarova (11) and Petra Kvitova (10), both lost out to Sam Stosur and Shelby Rogers respectively.
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Published: May 27, 2016 04:00 AM