Rafael Nadal has suffered another injury setback as he announced on Tuesday (27 February) that he would be withdrawing from the Mexican Open in Acapulco.
The Spaniard was due to face his compatriot Feliciano Lopez later on the same day in his opening match in what would be his first competitive tie since withdrawing from the Australian Open quarter-final stage last month due to a hip problem.
However, Nadal revealed he felt a sharp pain in his leg during a training session on Monday (26 February) and would no longer be able to take part, with doubts now emerging on his participation at Indian Wells and the Miami Open next month.
"My goal and hope was to play in this tournament," Nadal said, as quoted on BBC. "Unfortunately, in my last training session yesterday, I felt a sharp pain in my leg again."
"I had done all the right steps to get well prepared for the tournament, which was my goal and my dream," the 31-year-old added.
"Unfortunately, yesterday's final training session before debuting again noticed a puncture in the same area where I had the problem in Australia.
"Doctors have told me that it is impossible to play, regardless of whether it hurts... There is a significant risk of increasing the injury and I have no choice. I was well prepared to play and I had hopes of doing something important here."
It comes as a huge blow to Nadal as just a couple of days earlier, he had mentioned how he felt recovered and "ready" to return to action ahead of Acapulco.
His withdrawal also marks the fifth consecutive event that he has either retired or pulled out from, having been unable to finish events in the Paris Masters, ATP Finals in London, Brisbane International, Australian Open and the Mexican Open.
Meanwhile, world number one Roger Federer will be given a boost in the ATP tennis rankings as Nadal, ranked second, will now lose the 300 points he was set to defend.
With Federer losing just 45 points from not taking part in the Dubai Open, his 345-point lead over the 16-time Grand Slam champion will now increase to 600 points before he takes part at Indian Wells.