Rafael Nadal has pulled out of the Indian Wells and Miami Open tournaments after aggravating the leg injury that forced him out of the Australian Open in January, the Spanish world number two said on Friday.
Nadal, a three-times winner at Indian Wells and five-times finalist at Miami, suffered his latest setback during a training session on Tuesday that forced him to pull out of this week's Mexican Open in Acapulco.
"Unfortunately, the injury I suffered in Acapulco before starting the tournament is in the same area as the one suffered in Melbourne," Nadal said on his Facebook page. "I won't be able to play in Miami or Indian Wells as I need to recover.
"It was very painful to retire from Acapulco and it's very hard as well to not play in the USA. I will miss you and I will do everything that's possible to be back there in 2019."
This marks the latest setback for the 31-year-old Spaniard, who has not competed since retiring from his quarter-final against Croatia's Marin Cilic in Melbourne and recently lost the world number one ranking to Roger Federer.
The BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells begins next week while the Miami Open follows two weeks later.
Nadal is the second high-profile player in as many days to withdraw from the tournaments as former world number three Stan Wawrinka said his recovery from a persistent knee injury would keep him from competing at both events.
Del Potro beats top seed to reach Mexican Open final
Juan Martin del Potro dispatched top seed German Alexander Zverev 6-4, 6-2 in the semi-final of the Mexican Open on Friday to set up a decider against South African Kevin Anderson who overcame Jared Donaldson 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 earlier in the day.
Zverev assumed top ranking after the late withdrawal of Rafael Nadal and he had not lost a set all week.
But Del Potro, who has won 16 of his 20 career titles on hard courts like the one in Acapulco, dominated his higher-ranked opponent in a match that lasted just 90 minutes.
The Argentine never lost a break point all night and hit only one double fault.
In Saturday's final, he will take on fifth seed Anderson, who is on track for a second consecutive title after winning the New York Open two weeks ago.
Anderson, who is enjoying one of the finest spells of a long and solid career that has brought him four titles, used his height and power to serve 18 aces against Donaldson.
The South African also hit more than double the number of winners against his opponent - 37 to 17.
"I really felt I did well just fighting as hard as I could," he said in a courtside interview.
"The match point felt great to really go after it and execute the way I wanted to."
Defending champion Tsurenko back in Acapulco final
Defending champion Lesia Tsurenko frittered away six match points before finally seeing off Australia's Daria Gavrilova 6-2, 6-4 in their Mexican Open semi-final on Friday.
The Ukrainian seventh seed has yet to drop a set over the last two years on the Acapulco hard court, a hot streak she will expect to extend when she meets unseeded Swiss Stefanie Voegele in Saturday's final.
Voegele, ranked 183rd in the world, reached her first WTA-level final appearance when she beat Swedish qualifier Rebecca Peterson 6-4, 7-6(5) in the second semi.
Tsurenko acknowledged she had struggled to close out her match after leading 5-0 in the second set, but also credited her third-seeded opponent with some spirited resistance.
"I think it was just getting more and more tough in the second set because her defence was just amazing," the 28-year-old told reporters after extending her perfect record against Gavrilova to 5-0.
"It was confusing for me and I made a lot of mistakes, probably because I lost some concentration, but I'm really happy I finished 6-4 and didn't go to a tiebreak or something like that."
Tsurenko, ranked 40th in the world, has three career titles.