Rafael Nadal will not play at next week's Barcelona Open as he waits to return from a hip injury.

The 22-time grand slam winner has not played since going out to Mackenzie McDonald in the second round of the Australian Open in January.

Nadal did not feature at tournaments in Indian Wells or Monte Carlo, and his latest withdrawal casts further doubt on his participation at the French Open, which begins at the end of May.

He wrote on Instagram on Friday: "Barcelona is a special tournament for me, because it's my adopted club and because playing at home is always a unique feeling.

"I'm still not prepared and therefore I'm still in my preparation process for the return to competition.

"Good luck to my friend [tournament director] David Ferrer and his whole team for this edition of the Godo that will surely be a success as always on all levels."

Nadal is a 12-time winner of the Barcelona Open, which he last won in 2021.

The 36-year-old recently dropped out of the world's top 10 men's rankings for the first time since 2005 due to his injury absence, and he currently sits in 15th place.

Novak Djokovic returned to action with an "ugly" win over Ivan Gakhov in the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters on Tuesday.

The world number one was competing for the first time in five weeks after missing the Indian Wells Open and Miami Open due to being unable to enter the United States.

Djokovic, who has since been cleared to compete in the US Open later this year, faced a spirited challenge from world number 198 Ivan Gakhov but advanced 7-6 (7-5) 6-2.

Gakhov broke his somewhat rusty opponent in the seventh game, but Djokovic hit back instantly as the opening set went to a tie-break.

The Serbian appeared rattled at various points, but an unforced error from Gakhov paved the way for Djokovic to open up some day light and take the opener.

The second set went the way of serve until the fifth game, when a double fault from Gakhov gave his opponent the chance to capitalise and see out the win.

"It was probably, if you can call it this way, an ugly tennis win for me today," Djokovic said in his on-court interview. "I haven't played my best, particularly in the first set. 

"And I kind of expected that that was going to happen in a way with swirly conditions, a lot of wind today, changing directions.

"It's different practising and then playing an official match on clay, where I guess no two bounces are the same. It's always quite unpredictable what's going to happen. 

"But all in all, I'm just pleased with the way I held my nerves I think in the important moments and I managed to clinch the two-set win."

Defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas also advanced to the last 16 with a walkover win over Benjamin Bonzi, who retired with a wrist injury when 4-1 down in the opening set.

Fifth seed Andrey Rublev had a tougher time of things against Jaume Munar as he recovered from a set down to progress 4-6 6-2 6-2

Hubert Hurkacz was the other seeded player in action on Tuesday and defeated Jack Draper 6-3 6-7 (7-3) 7-5.

Stan Wawrinka mounted an impressive comeback victory on his return to action at the Monte Carlo Masters, but Andy Murray went out in straight sets.

The pair, both three-time grand slam winners, enjoyed contrasting fortunes in their first-round matches against Tallon Griekspoor and Alex de Minaur.

Wawrinka, who has not played since Indian Wells last month, saw off the Dutchman in a 5-7 6-3 6-4 triumph, but Murray was routed by the Australian in a 6-1 6-3 loss.

"It was really important to stay calm with myself," Wawrinka said. "In the first round you need to find your game. I am happy to get through. It was important to fight until the end."

Roberto Bautista Agut saved a match point in the second-set tie-break as he fought back to overcome Filip Krajinovic to prevail 5-7 7-6 (12-10) 6-1.

Dominic Thiem is also through following a 6-1 6-4 win over Richard Gasquet but 11th seed Cameron Norrie is out after suffering a 6-3 6-4 loss to Francisco Cerundolo.

Casper Ruud clinched his 10th career ATP title with a straight-sets victory over Miomir Kecmanovic in Sunday's Estoril Open final, while Roberto Carballes Baena won the Grand Prix Hassan II.

Having enjoyed the best season of his career in 2022, Ruud was bidding for his first trophy success of 2023 in Portugal, and the world number five made a flying start to his clash with Kecmanovic.

Ruud wrapped up the opener in just 36 minutes, taking control with a huge forehand winner to break in just the third game.

The Norwegian navigated two three-set contests in order to reach the showpiece, and it looked like another of his matches may go the distance when Kecmanovic recovered to force a second-set tie-break.

However, a dipping backhand saw Ruud secure the second of two crucial mini breaks, and he took the first of his three championship points to cap a fine week with silverware, sealing a 6-2 7-6 (7-3) win.

Elsewhere, Carballes Baena won just his second career title, triumphing on the clay in Marrakesh where he beat Alexandre Muller 4-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-2.

France's Muller showed no signs of being overawed on his first final outing as he took the opener in impressive fashion, but Carballes Baena edged a tie-break in the second before dominating the decider.

Carballes Baena's triumph – recorded in just under three hours – gave him his first title since the 2018 Ecuador Open, which also came on his favoured clay surface.

Top seed Frances Tiafoe won two matches in a day to progress into the Houston Open semi-finals, while five other seeds bowed out on a busy Saturday of action.

Persistent rain this week in Houston meant the past three days of play have not been completed forcing a massive pile-up of matches on Saturday with the conditions clearing up.

Tiafoe took on Steve Johnson in the morning, winning 6-2 6-4 in the second round, before toppling Australian sixth seed Jason Kubler 6-4 6-4 in the quarter-finals.

The American, who only had a break of two and a half hours between his two matches, said: "I haven’t played two matches in one day in a long time.

"I thought it was unbelievable how I was able to come out here and play so well."

Tiafoe will take on Dutchman Gijs Brouwer in the last four after he got past fourth seed John Isner 6-4 7-6 (7-4), before taking down fifth seed J.J. Wolf 6-3 6-4.

Second seed Tommy Paul was another fancied American to bow out on Saturday, losing 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 to German qualifier Yannick Hanfmann in the second round.

Hanfmann progressed to the semi-finals where he will face Argentinian eighth seed Tomas Martin Etcheverry, with the German getting past Czech qualifier Tomas Machac 6-2 6-1.

Machac had bundled out American seventh seed Marcos Giron 6-4 6-4 in the second round.

Etcheverry progressed with victories over Australia's Max Purcell and Chile's Cristian Garin, winning the latter 6-1 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 in more than two and a half hours.

Casper Ruud defeated Quentin Halys in a third-set tie-break to reach the final of the Estoril Open, where Miomir Kecmanovic awaits after defeating Marco Cecchinato.

The number one seed, competing in his first semi-final of the season, prevailed 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7-2) in Portugal to move within one match of a 10th singles title.

Ruud broke his opponent's serve in the opening game and saw out the first set, but Halys – competing in his first ATP Tour semi-final – hit back in the second to prolong the match.

Both men held as the contest went the distance, but Ruud's quality told as he raced 3-0 ahead in the deciding tie-break and did not look back as he set up a final with Kecmanovic.

World number 40 Kecmanovic needed a little over an hour to beat sixth seed Cecchinato, who had surprised Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the previous round.

Kecmanovic, aiming to add to his only previous singles success in Kitzbuhel three years ago, held serve throughout to claim a 6-3 6-1 win over the 2018 French Open semi-finalist.

Elsewhere on Saturday, the final seeded player fell at the Grand Prix Hassan II as Dan Evans was defeated 2-6 6-4 6-2 by Roberto Carballes Baena.

Carballes Baena has now eliminated three seeded players and will face Alexandre Muller in Sunday's final after the Frenchman saw off Pavel Kotov in straight sets.

Muller edged a first-set tie-break and proved too strong in the second as he saw out a 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 victory in Marrakesh.

Tennis great Boris Becker has emerged from a spell in prison as "a stronger, better man", having been "humbled" by his conviction for concealing assets last year.

Six-time grand slam singles champion Becker was sentenced to two and a half years in jail last April, having been found guilty of concealing £2.5million worth of assets and loans to avoid paying debts when he was declared bankrupt in 2017.

The German was released after serving eight months of his sentence in December and was subsequently deported from the United Kingdom.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Becker said he had learned valuable lessons from his stint inside, where his legendary tennis achievements counted for nothing. 

"Whoever says that prison life isn't hard and isn't difficult I think is lying," Becker said. "I was surrounded by murderers, drug dealers, rapists, people smugglers… by dangerous criminals.

"You fight every day for survival. Quickly you have to surround yourself with the tough boys, as I would call it, because you need protection.

"If you think you're better than everybody else then you lose. It doesn't matter that I was a tennis player. The only currency we have inside is our character and our personality. That's it, you have nothing else.

"You don't have any friends at first – you're literally on your own and that's the hard part. You have to really dig inside yourself about your qualities and your strengths but also your weaknesses."

Becker – who was previously a regular on the BBC's coverage of Wimbledon – reportedly cannot return to the UK until October 2024.

Having worked as a commentator with Eurosport in Germany for the Australian Open earlier this year, Becker is eager to rebuild his reputation. 

"I'm usually good in the fifth set – I've won the first two sets, I've lost the next two and I'm planning to win that," he said.

"It certainly humbled me, it made me realise that whether you're called Boris Becker or Paul Smith, if you break the law, you get convicted and you get incarcerated, that goes for everybody.

"I never expected the good and I certainly didn't expect the bad but I'm a survivor, I'm a tough cookie. 

"I've taken the penalties, I've taken the incarceration but I've also taken the glory and if anything this made me a stronger, better man. With my decisions in the future you can see whether I have learned from it or I didn't."

Only one match was able to be completed on Friday at the Houston Open as organisers announced they would try to protect the playing surface for a busy weekend of action.

It was the third day in a row that has been washed out due to persistent rain, but after completing their first set on Wednesday, and their second set on Thursday, Max Purcell was allowed to finish off his 6-4 3-6 6-3 win over Daniel Altmaier.

It was the final first-round matchup yet to conclude, although there is still a second round, quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final to schedule in limited time before the ATP Tour rolls on.

The tournament's top seed, Frances Tiafoe, is yet to play a match yet after receiving a first-round bye, and it is the same case for second seed Tommy Paul.

In a statement, tournament director Bronwyn Greer said: "We want to ensure that our courts are in the best possible condition to complete our tournament this weekend, and with that in mind we have decided to forgo play today with the exception of that first-round match that is deep into the third set."

Casper Ruud is through to the final four of the Estoril Open after a routine 6-3 6-0 victory against defending champion Sebastian Baez on Friday.

The number one seed dominated his Argentine opponent from the moment the first set went to 3-3, winning nine-straight games from there to ease to victory.

Ruud did need to save four break points in the second game of the second set, but his ability to hold serve seemed to end any resistance that Baez could muster.

The Norwegian will face Frenchman Quentin Halys in the semi-finals after his own straight-sets triumph over Dominic Thiem

Halys reached his first ever ATP Tour semi after recording a 6-1 6-4 win over the former world number three in just one hour and 19 minutes.

The other semi-final will see Miomir Kecmanovic take on Marco Cecchinato after the latter stunned third seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in straight sets.

The world number 96 claimed a 7-5 7-6 (7-5) victory in the first meeting between the pair to set up a last-four clash with Kecmanovic, who saw off sixth seed Bernabe Zapata Miralles with a comfortable 7-5 6-2 win.

Elsewhere, Dan Evans is the only seed remaining in the Grand Prix Hassan II as he reached the semi-finals by cruising to a 6-3 7-5 triumph over world number 201 Andrea Vavassori in Marrakech.

Evans will face Roberto Carballes Baena next after the Spaniard toppled fourth seed Tallon Griekspoor 6-3 2-6 6-2.

Second seed Lorenzo Musetti was beaten by Alexandre Muller 6-3 1-6 6-4 in a topsy-turvy encounter, and the Frenchman will now face Pavel Kotov in the final four after the Russian defeated Christopher O'Connell in a thriller, 6-3 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-3).

Thursday's action at the Houston Open has again been called off without any matches completed due to persistent rain in the area.

It is the second day in a row without a match being completed after Wednesday's play only made it through one set.

Max Purcell took the first set of his match against Daniel Altmaier on Wednesday, before Altmaier came back to win the second set on Thursday, and they will hope to complete the match on Friday when they resume with Purcell leading 6-4 3-6 4-3.

John Isner will likely have a do-or-die tie-breaker as soon as his match with Gijs Brouwer resumes, as he trails 6-4 5-6 with the Dutch competitor on serve.

The only other match underway is locked at 4-4 between Denis Kudla and J.J. Wolf.

Dominic Thiem continued to impress at the Estoril Open as he reached the quarter-finals, but second seed Hubert Hurkacz is out in Portugal.

The Austrian backed up his first round win against compatriot Sebastian Ofner with a 6-2 6-2 straight sets triumph against American Ben Shelton.

It takes the 2020 US Open winner into the last-eight where he will face Quentin Halys after the Frenchman beat fourth seed Roberto Bautista Agut in a 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 triumph.

There will be no Hurkacz however, after the Pole fell to 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 6-2 loss against the unseeded Bernabe Zapata Miralles.

Elsewhere, top seeds Lorenzo Musetti and Dan Evans are both through to the quarter-finals of the Grand Prix Hassan II.

The pair saw straight sets victories see them through the last-16, with the Italian winning 6-2 6-3 against France's Hugo Gaston and the Briton pulling out a 6-1 6-3 victory against Australia's Alexei Popyrin.

Wednesday's play was rained out at the Houston Open with only one set completed, while third seed Brandon Nakashima withdrew from the event.

Persistent rain forced an early abandonment of action on the clay courts in Houston, with all eight second-round matches pushed back to Thursday.

Max Purcell's clash with Daniel Altmaier was the only match to get underway, with the Australian leading 6-4 before rain intervened.

Top seed Frances Tiafoe was due to open his campaign against Steve Johnson, with second seed Tommy Paul to face Yannick Hanfmann.

Nakashima's withdrawal for an undisclosed reason meant lucky loser Zizou Bergs will replace him and take on Cristian Garin.

America's J.J. Wolf was the top seed in action on Tuesday at the Houston Open and he had no issue in his 6-3 6-2 first-round victory over Jordan Thompson.

Wolf, the fifth seed at the United States' only clay court event on the ATP Tour calendar, needed just 75 minutes to send the Australian home early on the back of a rock-solid serving performance.

Thompson was not able to produce a single break point opportunity in the match, and Wolf left an exclamation point on the contest by winning the final five games to run away with the win.

Meanwhile, seventh seed Marcos Giron gave the American crowd another win to cheer for in his 6-0 6-2 demolition of Ecuador's Emilio Gomez.

The chance for the double-bagel was there for Giron after winning the first 11 games to race out to a 6-0 5-0 lead, but he blew four match points as Gomez showed no quit and secured a break to at least take the match over the 60-minute mark.

Eighth seed Tomas Martin Etcheverry prevailed 6-3 6-4 in his all-Argentine clash against Juan Manuel Cerundolo, taking a 3-2 lead in their overall head-to-head meetings after rising 21-year-old Cerundolo took the past two.

German qualifier Yannick Hanfmann booked a second-round matchup against second seed Tommy Paul after a hard-fought 6-4 3-6 6-2 triumph over Japan's Yosuke Watanuki, while Chile's Cristian Garin had little resistance in his 6-3 6-0 victory in a South American showdown against Bolivia's Hugo Dellien.

In the late window, Jack Sock failed to complete the United States clean sweep for the day as he fell 6-2 6-4 to the Czech Republic's Tomas Machac.

Dominic Thiem claimed his first win since February with victory at the Estoril Open.

The former US Open champion and two-time Roland Garros finalist had gone his previous four ATP Tour-level events without a win.

But Thiem, once ranked as high as third in the world, ended the drought with a 3-6 6-3 6-4 defeat of compatriot Sebastian Ofner.

He will next face American Ben Shelton, who defeated Constant Lestienne 7-5 7-5.

Meanwhile, there were three shocks at the Grand Prix Hassan II in Marrakesh.

Roberto Carballes Baena came from a set down to beat fifth seed Maxime Cressy, Alexandre Muller overcame sixth seed Richard Gasquet, and qualifier Andrea Vavassori defeated eighth seed Nicolas Jarry.

Carlos Alcaraz is the latest to confirm he will not be competing at the Monte Carlo Masters.

The world number two already has two titles to his name in 2023 but lost the final of the Miami Open to Jannik Sinner.

Alcaraz was set to compete in Monte Carlo when the clay court season begins next week but has joined compatriot Rafael Nadal in withdrawing due to injury.

Posting on Twitter, he said: "After two months abroad, I am happy to return home but sad because I finished my last match in Miami with physical discomfort.

"After visiting my doctor in Murcia today and being evaluated, I will not be able to go to Monte Carlo to start the clay court tour.

"I have post-traumatic arthritis in my left hand and muscular discomfort in the spine that needs rest to prepare for everything that is to come."

Alcaraz's defeat to Sinner in Miami saw him cede top-spot in the ATP world rankings to Novak Djokovic, having returned to the summit in March.

The Spaniard was previously ranked number one from September 2022 until January 30, 2023.

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