Nine-times champion Rafael Nadal sent shockwaves around Roland Garros on Friday when he unexpectedly pulled out of the French Open because of an injury to his left wrist.
A day after notching up his 200th
grand slam victory with an imperious 6-3 6-0 6-3 second-round win over
Argentina's Facundo Bagnis, a grim-faced Nadal walked into a hurriedly
arranged news conference wearing a navy blue brace around his stricken
"I have to retire from the tournament because I have a
problem in my wrist that I have had a couple of weeks," said the Spanish
left-hander who turns 30 next week.
"Every day was a little bit
worse. We tried to do all the treatments possible. Every single day we
spent a lot of hours working so hard to try to play," he added.
I played (after taking) an anaesthetic injection on the wrist," said
the dejected Spaniard, who showed no signs of the injury during his win
"I could play, but the thing is yesterday night I
start to feel more and more pain, and today in the morning I feel that I
could not move much the wrist."
This is the latest setback to hit the 14-times grand slam champion during an injury-plagued career.
in his knees prevented him from defending his Wimbledon title in 2009
and the 2008 Beijing Olympics gold medallist also missed the 2012 London
Games because of injury.
"It's (the tendon) not torn, but if I
keep playing, it's gonna be torn in the next couple of days. Every day
the MRI image is a little bit worse," said Nadal, the only player to
have won the same grand slam title nine times.
"It's obvious that
if it wasn't Roland Garros I would not have taken the risk of playing
the first two days, but it's the most important event of the year for me
so we tried our best.
"To win the tournament I needed to play
five more matches, and the doctor said that's 100 per cent impossible.
That (my tendon's) gonna be 100 per cent torn," explained Nadal before
adding that he first felt the problem during his run to the Madrid
"Today is one of the toughest press conferences of my
career. You wait for these two weeks for the whole year, and having to
retire today is a very bad news for me.
"I played the last month
and a half at very high level... and I felt ready for this tournament.
Now is a tough moment, but it's not the end."
injuries and illness have kept him sidelined for months on end, Nadal
hopes that he will be able to make a quick recovery and return for next
month's Wimbledon championships.
"We're gonna work hard to be ready for Wimbledon," he said.
need to keep the wrist immobilised for a couple of weeks. Then we're
gonna do the treatment and we hope the treatment works well. I hope to
have a fast recovery."