Tennis News: Rafael Nadal is out, Danielle Collins and Sloane Stephens win

  • Rafael Nadal withdraws from Monte Carlo
  • Danielle Collins continues her winning ways
  • Sloane Stephens avenges previous losses with Charleston victory

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With the draw for the Monte Carlo Masters scheduled for Friday, Rafael Nadal eliminated the suspense by withdrawing from the tournament on Thursday. He explained that his body "will not let him" play which is sad but not surprising given his physical issues over the past two years.

Nadal is missing a tournament he has won 11 times, the last time in 2018. It brings us back to 2023 when we were speculating before each clay court tournament leading up to the French Open if he would be able to play. Hopefully, the 2024 version of this story turns out better because fans want to see Nadal play on clay but on his terms. However, fans should prepare themselves for the very real possibility that Nadal will not be able to play on clay this year either.

In Charleston where the tournament is making up matches after torrential rains on Wednesday, Danielle Collins continued her winning streak by defeating Charleston Open defending champion Ons Jabeur in three sets. Collins is unstoppable right now, and Jabeur is struggling to pick up momentum in 2024. Collins quickly adjusted from hardcourt to clay without losing a beat. Kudos to her for making that transition look much easier than it is.

In addition to Collins, Sloane Stephens scored a big win over Leylah Fernandez

Sloane Stephens joked she was facing her "arch-nemesis" Leylah Fernandez in Charleston. In a makeup match from Wednesday night, Stephens won in straight sets. Indeed, Fernandez had never lost to Stephens in three prior meetings before Thursday's Charleston Open match. Those meetings were on hardcourts and Stephens admits that she loves playing on the clay despite her only Grand Slam win being on the US Open hardcourts.

Stephens is pulling double-duty (pun intended). In addition to advancing to the quarterfinals in singles, she is playing in the quarterfinals in doubles also on Thursday with American teenager Ashlyn Krueuger. Stephens and Krueger played doubles in March's Sunshine Double with great success, advancing to the Round of 32 at Indian Wells and to the quarterfinals at the Miami Open.

Stephens and fellow American Taylor Townsend are playing both singles and doubles and are partnering with their compatriots. Townsend has advanced to the doubles quarterfinal with Madison Keys.

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