A day after nine-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal became just the eighth man to rack up 200 Grand Slam match wins, the Spanish ace withdrew from the Roland Garros event due to a wrist injury.
Rafa pulling out of the French Open on Friday was completely unexpected, especially since it's coming on the back of a splendid performance against Argentina’s World No 99 Facundo Bagnis, whom he defeated 6-3, 6-0, 6-3.
This now puts on hold for a year his campaign to win 'La Decima'.
One year after the team he admires, Real Madrid, won a 10th European Cup, Nadal himself had the opportunity this year of becoming the first man in tennis history to win the same Grand Slam title 10 times. But that is not to be and Rafa will have wait one more year to fulfill that dream.
Spain's Rafael Nadal gives a press conference to announce his withdrawal from the French Open at the Roland Garros in Paris on Friday. Pic/AFP
“I have a problem with my wrist... yesterday I played with an injection, I could play but yesterday night I started to feel more and more pain,” the Spanish left-hander told reporters in a hurriedly arranged news conference at Roland Garros.
“Today I felt I could not move my (left) wrist,” added the dejected Spaniard, who had showed no signs of the injury during the second round win on Thursday.
"It's not broken, but if I continue to play it will be broken in a few days," said an emotional Nadal, the fourth seed.
The 29-year-old Spaniard was scheduled to face Marcel Granollers in Round 3 on Saturday. Granollers will now advance to the fourth round via walkover.
Nadal is the second high-profile tennis star to withraw from the clay court Grand Slam due to physical concerns after 34-year-old World No 3 Roger Federer withdrew before the event started after failing to recover from a back injury.
The 2008 Beijing Olympics gold medallist has been beset with injuries in recent times, with tendinitis in his knees preventing him from defending his Wimbledon title in 2009. He also missed the 2012 London Games because of injury.Nadal said, however, that he hoped he would be fit to play at Wimbledon next month.
2015 was his worst full year on the circuit as fitness concerns continued to plague him throughout the year and he ended it without winning a single Grand Slam title for the first time in over a decade.