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Del Potro Withdraws With Hip Pain

Madrid, Spain

Juan Martin del Potro© Getty ImagesJuan Martin del Potro withdrew from his match in Madrid Thursday, citing hip pain.

Juan Martin del Potro withdrew from his Mutua Madrid Open third-round match against World No. 1 Rafael Nadal Thursday, citing hip pain.

“I am not in a condition to play today," said del Potro. "I woke up with a lot of pain and I talked with the doctor and did a test to see how I was feeling."

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The blockbuster with Nadal was one of the most anticipated matches of the clay-court season thus far, and was slated as the evening match on Manolo Santana court. The Argentine apologised to those who were looking forward to the clash.

“I just think that I’m not in a good condition to play and I’m sorry for the tournament, for the people, for Rafa,” del Potro said. “I want to play as soon as I can and it would be a very nice match for me to play today. I really feel sad for that. It’s a nice tournament, nice people here, nice fans but I can’t.”

According to del Potro, he has felt the pain since playing at the Estoril Open last week, where he won the title (d. Verdasco), his second of the year. “I had never felt that pain before. I hope it is due to the amount of time that I spent without playing on clay.”

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“The pain started last week in Estoril between the semi-final and final and it’s getting worse day by day and I really felt too much pain today, so that’s my reason for not playing.”

The 2009 US Open champion was out a majority of last year with a right wrist injury, and had made a remarkable resurgence so far in 2011, rising from No. 485 on 31 January up to No. 32 entering Madrid. But his injury history has forced the Argentine to take a cautious approach. “The pain I have is very strong and I think that you have to put health in front of anything. It´s the most important thing,” believes del Potro.

“It was going to be a nice match to play, but I’ve got some experience with injuries and I don’t want to risk too much, so I’m going to follow what the doctor ordered.”

Del Potro has already decided to pull out of the BNL Internazionali d'Italia in Rome, and his status for the remaining portion of the clay-court calendar is unknown. He will fly home for additional testing and will receive any treatment required.

“Hopefully I will be ready to play Nice and the French Open [at Roland Garros] and everything but my leg comes first and I want to be in good health,” added del Potro.

With the walkover, Nadal advances to the quarter-finals, where the defending champion will play an unseeded foe, Michael Llodra or Daniel Gimeno-Traver

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