Rafael Nadal, the 22-time Grand Slam champion, announced today that he will not participate in the upcoming Monte Carlo Masters, a crucial warm-up event leading to the French Open. The tennis icon took to Twitter to share the news, stating that he is not yet ready to compete at the highest level.

Nadal has been out of action since his unexpected second-round defeat at the Australian Open in January. He sustained a grade 2 injury to the iliopsoas muscle in his left leg during his match against American Mackenzie McDonald. The setback caused Nadal to miss the entire hardcourt season, and fans eagerly anticipated his return for the clay court season.

Monte Carlo Masters Tournament Director David Massey had previously confirmed Nadal’s participation in the event, where he has won 11 times. However, Nadal ultimately decided to prioritize his recovery, admitting that he is not yet in peak condition to compete at such a high level.

In a tweet, Nadal said, “Hi everyone, I’m still not ready to compete at the highest level. I will not be able to play in one of the most important tournaments of my career, Monte Carlo. I am not yet in a position to play with the maximum guarantees, and I continue my preparation process, hoping to return soon.”

Although Nadal will not compete in Monte Carlo, organizers of the Barcelona Open remain optimistic that he will participate in the home tournament, which begins on April 15. Nadal has won the Barcelona Open title 12 times and will be seeking a record-extending 13th win. The 70th edition of the tournament boasts an impressive lineup, including world no.1 Carlos Alcaraz, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Casper Ruud, Daniil Medvedev, and Jannik Sinner.

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