Nadal to miss Aussie trip
BARCELONA, Spain — Just when Rafael Nadal had recovered from a knee injury, a stomach virus has delayed his return to tennis by a couple of months.
Nadal announced Friday he will miss next month’s Australian Open and probably won’t play again until the end of February. The Spaniard said he needs time to recover from the virus that already prevented him from coming back this week at Abu Dhabi.
Nadal has been sidelined since June with a knee injury, which forced him to miss the London Olympics and U.S. Open. He had planned to rejoin the ATP tour at the Qatar Open in Doha next month before the Jan. 14-27 Australian Open, but pulled out of both.
While he is expected to recover from the virus in time for the year’s first Grand Slam tournament, Nadal and his team said he wouldn’t have the proper preparation for a five-set event.
The former No. 1 hopes to return at a tournament in Acapulco, Mexico, starting Feb. 27. He left open the possibility of playing at an earlier tournament if his recovery went well.
“As my team and doctors say, the safest thing to do is to do things well and this virus has delayed my plans of playing these weeks,” Nadal said. “I always said that my return to competition will be when I am in the right conditions to play and after all this time away from the courts I’d rather not accelerate the comeback and prefer to do things well.”
Nadal’s doctor, Angel Ruiz-Cotorro, said in the same statement that the player needed at least a week to recover from the virus. That ruled him out for the Qatar Open, which starts Jan. 2.
Nadal’s coach and uncle, Toni Nadal, said going straight to a five-set tournament after being sidelined so long was “not appropriate.”
“It is simply not conceivable that his first event is a best-of-five sets event,” he said in a statement. “He wouldn’t be ready for that.”
Nadal’s knee injury prevented the 11-time Grand Slam winner from defending his Olympic singles gold medal at last summer’s games, where he was supposed to be Spain’s flag-bearer in the opening ceremony. He also had to pull out of the U.S. Open and Spain’s Davis Cup final against the Czech Republic, which his teammates lost without him.
Nadal, ranked No. 4, won the Australian Open in 2009. Last year, he lost to top-ranked Novak Djokovic in a title match that lasted 5 hours, 53 minutes, the longest recorded Grand Slam final.
Rules for posting comments
Comments posted below are from readers. In no way do they represent the view of Oahu Publishing Inc. or this newspaper. This is a public forum.
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content but the newspaper is under no obligation to do so. Comment posters are solely responsible under the Communications Decency Act for comments posted on this Web site. Oahu Publishing Inc. is not liable for messages from third parties.
IP and email addresses of persons who post are not treated as confidential records and will be disclosed in response to valid legal process.
Do not post:
- Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
- Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
- Copyrighted materials of any sort without the express permission of the copyright holder.
- Personal attacks, insults or threats.
- The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
- Comments unrelated to the story.
If you believe that a commenter has not followed these guidelines, please click the FLAG icon below the comment.