Rafael Nadal: World number one withdraws from Abu Dhabi exhibition amid injury fears | Tennis | Sport


The 31-year-old was scheduled to play at the warm up event ahead of the new season against either Kevin Anderson or Pablo Carreno Busta on Friday December 29 but the Spaniard has confirmed he is not ready to play.

The world number one said in a statement: “I am very sorry and disappointed to announce that I won’t be competing this year at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship.

“This would have been my ninth participation in the tournament where I love to play and marking the beginning of my season.

“It was a tough 2017 and I need to take my calendar in a different way in order to be ready. For this reason, I have sadly announced to the organisers and now to you fans that I won’t play this time in Abu Dhabi.

“I really want to thank them for understanding and I am sending a special warm message to my fans in the UAE and in Abu Dhabi in particular.”

Although Nadal does not mention any injury, he was forced to withdraw from the Paris Masters and then the ATP World Tour Finals with a knee problem.

It was also reported on Friday that Nadal had pulled out of a training camp at his academy in Mallorca.

With the Australian Open beginning on January 15, Nadal now faces a race against time to be 100 per cent healthy for the opening Grand Slam of the year.

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