The 22-time Grand Slam winner will not compete in either of the Masters 1000 events in the United States as he continues his recovery from injury. His absence means he's almost certain to drop out of the top ten for the first time in almost 20 years.
Rafael Nadal has confirmed he will not play in the upcoming Masters 1000 events in Indian Wells and Miami as he continues to work his way back from the hip injury he suffered from at the Australian Open.
As a result, the Spaniard is likely to drop out of the world's top ten for the first time since joining the elite as an 18-year-old on 25 April, 2005.
"I am sad that I won’t be able to compete at Indian Wells nor Miami," Nadal tweeted. "Very sad not to be there," he said before expressing optimism that he will be in the United States later this year for the US Open. "I'll miss all my US fans but I hope to see them later this year during the summer swing."
Nadal exited in Round 2 at the Australian Open in straight sets to Mackenzie McDonald, but the 22-time Slam winner was hampered from midway through the second set after hurting his left hip. The defending champion later said he had picked up the injury in practice ahead of the match, before exacerbating it while trailing to the American.
Nadal managed to hobble through the match, but later said he would be unable to compete for between six and eight weeks due to the injury.
It is almost certain that Nadal won't take to the court in a competitive manner until the clay court season gets underway, and the Monte Carlo Masters in particular, due to commence on April 8.
Nadal's tweet on Tuesday showed footage of him working out at the gym, as he continues to ease himself back into the sport. These images come just 24 hours after other clips emerged of him hitting balls on the clay courts at his academy in Mallorca.
"It’s been a while since I don’t communicate with you," Nadal said on Twitter. "Took my time off, started rehab, gym and physiotherapy as instructed by the doctors. Getting ready to come back in the best conditions."
Elsewhere on the ATP Tour, two other players announced their withdrawals from the Mexico Open, which has just got underway, though both Carlos Alcaraz and Cameron Norrie both hope to be able to compete at Indian Wells.
While Norrie's absence is merely down to fatigue having made back to back finals in Latin America, Alcaraz's participation in Indian Wells is less certain, though his social media post appeared to allay concerns of a lengthy lay off.
The two played each other in Sunday's Rio Open final, with Norrie lifting the title, but Alcaraz was severely hampered in the third set with a hamstring injury that suggested he could be out for several weeks. However, the 19-year-old gave a shorter time frame for recovery.
"I have a grade 1 strain in my right hamstring that will keep me out for several days, according to the tests we did this morning," Alcaraz tweeted. "I'm really sad I can't compete here (in Acapulco), but now it's time to think about recovering and being ready as soon as possible. I hope to see you all soon!"