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Rafael Nadal: Spaniard pulls out of Monte Carlo Masters saying body not up to it

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Rafael Nadal has pulled out of the Monte Carlo Masters, saying his body “simply won’t allow” him to play in the tournament, which starts on Sunday.

Nadal, 37, made his long-awaited return at January’s Brisbane International after almost a year out with injury.

But the Spaniard injured a hip, which ruled him out of the Australian Open and has kept him sidelined ever since.

“You have no idea how hard this is for me to not be able to play these events,” Nadal posted on X., external

After pulling out of Indian Wells last month and the Qatar Open before that, it was hoped 22-time Grand Slam champion Nadal would return to the court in Monte Carlo on his favoured clay surface.

“These are very difficult moments for me, sporting wise,” he said. “Unfortunately I have to tell you that I am not going to be playing in Monte Carlo. My body simply won’t allow me.

“And even if I am working hard & making the maximum effort every day with all the will to play and compete again at tournaments that have been very important for me, the truth is that I can’t play today.

“The only thing I can do is to accept the situation and try to look at the immediate future keeping the excitement and will to play in order to give me a chance for things to get better.”

In May last year, after being forced to miss the French Open for the first time in 19 years, Nadal said 2024 would “probably” be the final year of his career.

Missing the start of the clay-court season is the latest setback to his hopes of pursuing a 15th French Open title with the major beginning on 20 May.





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Deontay Wilder: Ex-WBC world champion confident of Anthony Joshua fight

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Former WBC world champion Deontay Wilder tells BBC Sport he is “90%” sure a fight with Anthony Joshua will happen in the future, as he prepares to face Zhilei Zhang on 1 June.

READ MORE: Wilder says Joshua fight will be revived with big win over Zhang



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Taulupe Faletau: Wales number eight set for Cardiff return

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Taulupe Faletau back in training with Cardiff
Taulupe Faletau has played 14 games for Cardiff after joining from Bath in 2022

Cardiff and Wales number eight Taulupe Faletau is set to return to action after a six-month injury lay-off.

Faletau, 33, suffered a broken arm in Wales’ World Cup victory against Georgia in Nantes in October 2023 before missing this year’s Six Nations with a calf injury.

The British and Irish Lions Test star has since returned to Cardiff training.

Faletau is available for the United Rugby Championship (URC) trip to face Ulster on Friday night.

Faletau, who has played 104 times for Wales, returns to action with the summer tour to Australia on the horizon.

Head coach Warren Gatland has lost senior figures in Alun Wyn Jones, Justin Tipuric, George North, Dan Biggar, Leigh Halfpenny and Rhys Webb to international retirement in the last 12 months.

In Faletau’s absence, Cardiff back-row duo Alex Mann and Mackenzie Martin have been capped by Wales, while Aaron Wainwright has filled the national number eight role.



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Ross Molony: Leinster locks signs for Bath Rugby on three-year contract from 2024-25

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Ross Molony
Ross Molony has won four league titles and the European Champions Cup with Leinster

Bath have announced the signing of Leinster lock Ross Molony on a three-year contract.

The 29-year-old will join up with the Somerset club ahead of the 2024-25 season.

Molony has made 177 appearances for Leinster and has won four league titles and the European Champions Cup with the Dublin club.

Leinster are currently five points clear at the top of the United Rugby Championship table.

They face Premiership leaders Northampton Saints on Saturday, May 4, for a place in a third Champions Cup final in a row.

“Ross is a true professional and his journey in rugby is a testament to this,” director of rugby Johann van Graan told the club’s website.external-link

“His work ethic and leadership are some of his key characteristics and I believe he will play a huge part in our journey in the next number of years.”

Bath are currently second in the Premiership, five points behind Northampton.



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