Spanish tennis superstar Rafael Nadal won’t be making his third appearance in Rotterdam next week as he has withdrawn from the tournament due to a back issue.
Nadal, ranked at No. 2 in the world, was scheduled to play for Spain at the ATP Cup but he skipped the entire event due to a back injury.
Nadal decided to give a go to the Australian Open but he wasn’t at his best and he suffered a five-set loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarterfinal.
”Unfortunately, Rafael Nadal is forced to pull out of the 48th ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament. The back problems that started in Australia prevent him from playing next week. Daniil Medvedev, number 3 in the ATP Rankings, is now the top seed in the tournament,” the tournament said in a statement posted on their Twitter account.
Nadal won’t return to Rotterdam for the first time since 2009
Nadal debuted on the indoor-hard courts of Rotterdam in 2008, when he made the round-of-16 before losing to Italian Andreas Seppi.
Nadal returned to Rotterdam the following year and this time ended runner-up to former world No. 1 Andy Murray in the final.
Meanwhile, after winning a record ninth Australian Open title, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic gave a recognition to record 20-time Grand Slam champion Nadal.
“Roger and Rafa inspire me,” Djokovic said, per Tennis Majors. “That’s something that I’ve said before. I’ll say it again. I mean, I think as long as they go, I’ll go. I think in a way it’s, like, a race who plays tennis more, I guess, and who wins more. It’s a competition between us in all areas. But I think that’s the very reason why we are who we are, because we do drive each other, we motivate each other, we push each other to the limit.”
Nadal dealt with back problems throughout his campaign at the Australian Open.