Nadal skips Miami Open to save himself for clay season

Madrid, Mar 16 (efe-epa).- Rafael Nadal on Tuesday announced that he will not take part in Miami Open, a leading ATP Masters 1000 event that gets underway next week.

“Sad to announce that I won’t be playing in Miami, a city that I love. I need to fully recover and get ready for the clay court season in Europe,” the Spaniard posted to his Twitter account.

Nadal, the so-called King of Clay, has won 13 out of his record-equaling 20 Grand Slam titles at Roland Garros’ slow clay courts.

This is not the first tournament Nadal has pulled out of a competition this season. He turned down a wild card spot to compete at the Dubai Championship which ends on Sunday, after his  exertions during his five-set Australian Open quarterfinal upset by Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece a month ago.

In the buildup to the first Grand Slam event of the year in Melbourne, the 34-year-old struggled with back problems, although he managed to find a way to play relatively pain-free in the second week of the tournament.

“#Miami loves you back! Best of luck in your recovery – hope to see you back on the court soon!” the Miami Open organizers said on the tournament’s Twitter account.

Roger Federer of Switzerland has also decided not to defend the title he won in 2019, the last time the competition was held after the 2020 edition was canceled due to the coronavirus.

Earlier this month the 39-year-old made his first appearance after a 405-day absence and two knee surgeries at the Qatar Open, where he defeated Daniel Evans but fell to Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili. EFE-EPA


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