The Italian Open loomed as a crucial litmus test for Nadal, but despite admitting that his recovery was progressing well, he told fans he was simply not fully ready to compete. The Spanish superstar boasts an incredible record in Rome, winning in 2021 and holding an overall record of 69-8 at the event.

The aforementioned hard-court withdrawals were followed by absences from Monte Carlo and Barcelona as focus turned to his attempt to win a 15th French Open title. In a post on social media, Nadal apologised to fans who were looking forward to his return in Rome.

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