Fifth-seeded Rafael Nadal, who is playing his first hard-court tournament in almost a year at the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, advanced to the fourth round Monday without hitting a ball.
Nadal, who holds 11 Grand Slam titles, was taping his fingers in advance of the third-round match when his opponent, Argentina's Leonardo Mayer, announced he was withdrawing with a back injury.
Next up for Nadal will be the winner of a third-round match between Ernests Gulbis and 20th-seeded Andreas Seppi. Seppi won the first set over Gulbis, 7-5, Monday.
"It's bad news for sure, especially for the fans," Nadal said, "and for the opponent. I talked with him. It seemed like it's nothing very bad. Just typical back problems beginning when he was warming up his serve. He hopes to be ready to play again in four, five days."