Rafael Nadal the current world no. 1 has decided to back off from the season opener which was supposed to be an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi. This decision of Nadal came as a setback for the organizers who are already facing the problem of the players backing off from the tournament. Rafael Nadal has now joined a growing list of players who have already taken back their names due to fitness issues. Rafael Nadal has pulled out from the tournament just days after Milos Raonic and Stanislas Wawrinka also took back their names just to be fit in time for the upcoming Australian Open.
A highly successful year for ‘Rafa’ in 2017
The year 2017 brought many great moments for the Spaniard as he won two grand slams which were the French Open and the US Open. The 16-time grand slam champion had various injury problems during 2016 which highly affected his career but Nadal came back stronger than ever and brought glories for himself in this year by winning various ATP 1000 titles. It also became a blessing in disguise for Nadal as many highly rated player got themselves injured, which gave Nadal the time to settle himself again into the international circuit. He didn’t disappoint his fans and became the world no. 1 this year. But his good times didn’t last long as he was again struck by his old knee injury which cost him the ATP World Tour Finals.
Time to get ready for the upcoming Australian summer
The 31-year-old Spanish giant, who has featured at the Abu Dhabi tournament on eight occasions will be replaced by the compatriot Roberto Bautista Agut. Regarding his sudden departure from the tournament, Nadal quoted as “It was a tough 2017 and I need to take my calendar in a different way to be ready. For this reason, I have sadly announced to the organizers and now to fans that I won’t play this time in Abu Dhabi”.
As the Australian Open is going to start from 15th of January and less than three weeks remaining many star players like Kei Nishikori, Andy Murray are still not fully fit. From women’s side, Serena Williams is still unsure of her participation and Victoria Azarenka has already taken back her name from the Australian Open due to personal issues.