Rafael Nadal's French Open preparations dealt another blow as he withdraws from Barcelona Open

    Due to his ongoing recovery from injury, Rafael Nadal has announced that he will not participate in the forthcoming Barcelona Open.

    Rafael Nadal. Rafael Nadal.

    The 36-year-old posted on Twitter that he is "still not ready" to compete in the tournament, where he has won a record 12 titles previously.

    Barcelona is the latest competition Nadal has withdrawn from after sustaining a hip problem at the Australian Open, missing the Indian Wells, Miami Open and Monte Carlo Masters tournaments this year.

    Nadal wrote on Twitter: "Barcelona is a special tournament for me, because it is my adopted club and because playing at home is always a unique feeling.

    "I am still not ready and, therefore, I continue my preparation process for the return to competition.

    "Good luck to my friend David Ferrer and his entire team for this edition of Godo, which will surely be a success at all levels."

    The news represents another blow to Nadal's French Open preparations, with likely only the Madrid Open and Italian Open left as potential warm-up events before the second Grand Slam of the year gets under way next month.

    The ATP Masters 1000 double-header starts with the Madrid event on April 24 before the Rome tournament starts on May 8.

    The French Open is set to get under way on May 22.

    Nadal notably had an injury-plagued build-up to last year's Roland Garros tournament as well, however, but it did not stop him from claiming a record 14th title in Paris.

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