Nine-time champ Nadal pulls out of French Open

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May 28, 2016
Nine-time champion Rafael Nadal announced his withdrawal from the French Open because of an injury to his left wrist during a press conference at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, yesterday. (AP Photo)

PARIS, AP:

Nine-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal pulled out of the Grand Slam tournament yesterday, citing an injury to his left wrist.

"A very tough moment, because you ... wait for these two weeks for the whole year," said a glum-looking Nadal, who announced his withdrawal the day before his third-round match.

The left-handed Spaniard was wearing a blue brace on his wrist during what he called "one of the toughest press conferences in my career".

Nadal, who owns a total of 14 Grand Slam titles, said he would not even have tried to compete at any other tournament with the injury, "but it's the most important event of the year for me".

He played his second-round match Thursday after getting an injection to numb his wrist. But he said that he began "to feel more and more pain" overnight and could not move his wrist much Friday morning, so went for an MRI exam.

"The results," he said, "are not positive."

Nadal added that he can no longer practise and wouldn't have been able to finish the tournament.

"I cannot play with my forehand," Nadal said, referring to his best shot, a spin-laden uppercut.

He said there is inflammation in the tendon sheath in his wrist and was told that there is no way he could be given five more painkilling injections one before each possible match, were he to make it all the way to the final over the next 10 days.

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