Rediff.com  » Sports » Wrist injury forces Rafael Nadal to pull out of French Open

Wrist injury forces Rafael Nadal to pull out of French Open

Last updated on: May 27, 2016 22:10 IST

IMAGE: Rafael Nadal of Spain. Photograph: Dennis Grombkowsk/Getty Images.

Nine-times French Open champion Rafael Nadal has pulled out of the French Open on Friday because of a wrist injury.

"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 and today I felt I could not move my wrist," the Spanish fourth seed told reporters in a hurriedly arranged news conference.

The Spaniard was in great form coming into Paris, having won big ticket events in Monte Carlo and Barcelona. 

Nadal, a nine-time winner at Roland Garros, has only ever lost two matches in Paris. 

Swede Robin Soderling bested him in the fourth round in 2009, while arch rival Novak Djokovic proved too good for the Spaniard last year. 

Nadal's withdrawal makes Djokovic the lone favorite to win the French Open, the lone major title missing from his trophy cabinet. 

Nadal and Djokovic were scheduled to meet in the semi-finals next Friday - on the Spaniard's 30th birthday.

Despite his latest setback, Nadal said he will keep playing although his participation at Wimbledon next month is now in serious doubt.

"Nine times in my career I have been able to be healthy here in Paris and win this tournament," he said. "This is a tough moment and the toughest press conference I have ever had to give but it's not the end."

Nadal had coasted through the first two rounds in Paris dropping just nine games but revealed he had needed pain-killing injections in his wrist to take part.

His withdrawal gives compatriot Marcel Granollers a walkover into the last 16. 

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