Rafael Nadal pulls out of French Open with wrist injury

Rafael Nadal was emotional in his news conference
Rafael Nadal was emotional in his news conference

Nine-time winner Rafael Nadal has pulled out of the French Open because of a wrist injury.

The Spaniard had progressed to the third round with a straight-sets win over Facundo Bagnis on Thursday - his 200th Grand Slam victory.

"Yesterday I played with an injection," the 29-year-old told a news conference on Friday.

"Yesterday evening I started to feel more and more pain and today I felt I could not move my wrist."

Nadal said he risked further injury - and a likely break in his wrist - if he continued to play.

He was speaking at a hastily-arranged news conference in Paris, just 24 hours before he was due to face compatriot Marcel Granollers.

Laura Robson on Twitter
Former British number one Laura Robson, who is battling back to fitness after wrist surgery, felt Nadal's pain

"Nine times in my career I have been able to be healthy here in Paris and win this tournament," Nadal said.

"This is a tough moment and the toughest press conference I have ever had to give but it's not the end."

He later posted on his Facebook page:external-link "Today is one of the toughest days. Having to withdraw from arguably the most important tournament of my career, a tournament that I love so much. I will be back in Roland Garros in the next [few] years and hope to keep having chances in the future. Many thanks to all my fans for the support."

Will he play at Wimbledon?

Nadal says he only risked starting the tournament at Roland Garros because of his desperation to become the first man to win 10 singles titles at a grand slam.

However, his wrist problem is the latest in a long list of injuries - including his knees, back and shoulder - which have seen him miss a number of majors in his career.

However, he is optimistic he will be fit for the start of Wimbledon on 27 June.

"We're going to work hard to be ready for Wimbledon," Nadal said. "I need a couple of weeks (with the wrist) immobilised. Then we're going to do the treatment and we hope that works well.

"We expect to recover quick and to be ready for Wimbledon."


BBC Sport tennis correspondent Russell Fuller

"Nadal looked utterly crestfallen the moment he walked into the main interview room here at Roland Garros, with his left wrist in a blue strapping.

"He was close to tears as he broke the bad news.

"Nadal says he is looking forward to returning for at least another couple of years, but the disappointment is acute as he appeared to have a strong chance of winning a 10th French Open title. The expectation was that next Friday, on his 30th birthday, the Spaniard would be facing Novak Djokovic for a place in the final.

"Nadal dropped only nine games in six sets in the opening two rounds, and won tournaments in both Monte Carlo and Barcelona before the wrist became an issue. He says his is still hopeful of playing at Wimbledon, but won't return until totally healthy.

"Nadal's section of the draw has taken on a completely different complexion. Marcel Granollers gets a walkover into round four, where he will play either Dominic Thiem or Alexander Zverev for a place in the quarter-finals."