World No. 1 Rafael Nadal further underlined his dedication to representing Spain in Davis Cup today, announcing he will skip the near-$1 million appearance fee to play next week’s Dubai Tennis Championships in order to rest a knee injury ahead of Spain’s upcoming Davis Cup tie.
Nadal was hobbled last week during the final at Rotterdam where he could hardly put up a fight in the third set against eventual champion Andy Murray.
“I am very disappointed not to be able to compete in Dubai, but the doctor has advised me to stay home and rest after the pain in my knee in Rotterdam last week,” Nadal wrote on his website Thursday. “Nothing to be worried about but it needs some rest.”
Tendinitis below the right knee is believed to be the culprit.
“I expect to be back in competition the following week for the Davis Cup tie in Benidorm against Serbia and then traveling to Indian Wells and Miami after,” Nadal wrote.
The injury now puts the top two players in the world on the sideline, as earlier this week Roger Federer announced he would be skipping Dubai with a back injury.
Federer was penciled-in for the Davis Cup week in early March to represent Switzerland against the U.S. in what would have been an all-star clash, but the Swiss says he will also be skipping the trip to Birmingham, Ala., leaving Top 20-ranked Stan Wawrinka with a mighty weight on his shoulders.
The withdrawal stretches Federer’s streak to five years since he has represented Switzerland in a World Group main draw tie. From 2005-2008 Federer has represented Switzerland after they’ve lost first round and fallen into the World Group Qualifying round, rescuing his nation from falling into zonal play.
After capturing the gold medal in men’s doubles with Wawrinka at the 2008 Olympics, Federer was subsequently fired-up to represent Switzerland in Davis Cup play through 2009. The current back injury is blamed by some for his poor serving during the Australian Open final loss to Nadal.
The ATP Masters events at Indian Wells and Miami in March, injuries willing, will be the next stages for the world No. 1 and No. 2 to resume their rivalry, which is rapidly becoming a one-sided affair. Nadal has won their last five meetings on three different surfaces.
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