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Nadal to miss Madrid Open

Rafa Nadal will miss next week's Madrid Open after a setback in his recovery from a hip injury sustained at the Australian Open in January.

The 22-times major champion skipped tournaments at Indian Wells, Miami and Monte Carlo as well as the current Barcelona Open after suffering the injury that effectively ended his Melbourne Park title defence as he fell to a second-round defeat by Mackenzie McDonald.

"The reality is that the situation is not what we would have expected. All medical indications have been followed, but somehow the evolution has not been what they initially told us and we find ourselves in a difficult situation.

"The weeks are passing and I had the desire of being able to play in tournaments that are the most important in my career such as Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, Roland Garros and for the moment I have missed Monte Carlo and Barcelona. I will not be able to be in Madrid unfortunately."

While the Spaniard, a 14-times French Open champion who has dominated the clay court season for years, still hopes to be fully fit for the Grand Slam starting in May, his statement is not optimistic.

"The injury still hasn't healed and I can't work out what I need to compete," Nadal said.

"I was training, but a few days ago we decided to change course a bit, do another treatment and see if things improve to try to get to what comes next.

"I can't give deadlines because if I knew I would tell you but I don't know. This is how things are now."