PARIS, May 27: Rafael Nadal, the nine-time French Open champion, withdrew from the tournament on Friday because of a left wrist injury.
The announcement sent a shock wave through Roland Garros, where Nadal has won more singles titles than any other player. On Thursday, he advanced to the third round with a 6-3, 6-0, 6-3 victory over Facundo Bagnis of Argentina.
But Nadal, a left-hander, said he played that match only after receiving a painkilling injection in his left wrist, and he spoke at his news conference on Friday with the wrist in a blue brace.
�One of the toughest press conferences of my career,� said Nadal, who is 29 and was seeded fourth at this year�s French Open. �Having to pull out of the tournament that is the more important tournament of my career and at the same time a tournament I feel that if I am well I always have my chances.�
With Nadal�s withdrawal, his third-round opponent, Marcel Granollers, will advance to the fourth round, and Nadal�s withdrawal also could make the road to the title considerably less arduous for the No. 1 seed, Novak Djokovic, who has yet to win at Roland Garros and was in Nadal�s half of the draw this year. � Agencies