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Nadal withdraws from US events with hip injury

Tennis Great Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the Masters 1000 events at Indian Wells and Miami because of injury.

The 36-year old Nadal, has not competed since losing in the second round of the Australian Open last month.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion was expected to be out for up to six to eight weeks with a hip injury that hampered his defeat by Mackenzie McDonald.

“We wish Rafa continued healing and hope to see him back next year,” said Indian Wells director Tommy Haas.

Nadal won at the California event which starts next week in 2007, 2009 and 2013, and lost in last year’s final to American Taylor Fritz.

The Spanish tennis great has been mostly limited to physio and gym work in recent weeks, but was able to begin a gradual return to the court on Monday.

He will also miss the Miami Open in three weeks’ time.

Nadal’s next target is likely to be the Monte Carlo Masters, where he is an 11-time champion.

The first major event of the European clay court season begins on April 9.

Writing by Tersoo Nicholas; Editing by Adeniyi Bakare