Rafael Nadal has announced that he has withdrawn from the Miami Sony Ericsson Open Masters today. Nadal was schedule to play rival Andy Murray in the semifinals at 3pm ET.
“So sorry for my fans, those here at Miami and those around the world. My knee won’t let me play today,” Nadal wrote on Twitter.
Nadal, who has never won the Miami title, hinted after his Wednesday night victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga that his injured left knee might not heal in time.
“Always playing Andy is a pleasure for me, and exciting playing against a player like him that push you at the limit on everything,” Nadal said Wednesday. “The negative thing is I have to recover well. I have to improve my knee if I really want to have any chance to win.
“Right now hopefully I can recover and can enjoy the match.”
Nadal’s withdrawal sends part-time Miami resident and 2009 winner Andy Murray back into the final. It’s also just the second time in Nadal’s career that he has withdrawn before a match mid-tournament. The only other occasion was at Estoril in 2004.
In place of Nadal/Murray, the tournament has delayed the start of a women’s semifinal between Vania King/Monica Niculescu and Maria Kirilenko/Nadia Petrova to 3pm ET.
ESPN’s Chris Fowler added insight via twitter, “Nadal says he brought tendinitis in L knee to Miami. Got worse daily. Felt he couldn’t compete today. Exam tomorrow. Hopes 100% for clay.”
This post will be updated as more information becomes available.
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Q. Perhaps you could just take us through the situation you’re faced with. We assume it’s your knee. Could you tell us the story of the last couple of days?
RAFAEL NADAL: Oh, I started the since the beginning of the tournament I have problems, but the real thing is growing worse every day.
So after the last match, I saw that the situation were going to be complicated to play today. But, as always, I always believe that the things can improve.
So I waited until today in the morning. I did a lot of treatment yesterday, waiting, that we can recover a little bit for today.
But I am not ready to compete today. I am very sorry for the fans. I’m very sorry for the tournament. I’m very sorry for everybody who were ready to watch the match on the television, for television, for everybody. But I don’t have pleasure. I cannot do it another thing.
I am not ready to compete, and I cannot go on court and lie to everybody. That’s the thing today.
Q. Can you describe the problem exactly for us? Do you know what it is precisely?
RAFAEL NADAL: I have problems on the left knee. I cannot I have to go to doctor, but looks like is nothing really, really different that happen a few times in the past.
Just go to the doctor hopefully tomorrow, and hopefully in a few days, with a few days off and with the right treatment, I will be in the right conditions to start to practice on the clay.
Q. Because obviously you want to protect as best you can for the clay court season coming up? You say just going out there and running around on the hard court is not going to do you any good in the long run?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yes, but not. Yes, I want to arrive to the clay court with the right conditions, but I want to arrive here with the right conditions. That’s why I rest all February.
So I am not thinking I am not going on court today not because I have the clay court season. I am not going on court today because I cannot go on court today.
No, no. Nothing about clay court season. Clay court season is there in two weeks, but this tournament is very important for me, and I feel very sad to have to go out before a beautiful match for me, semifinals against Andy.
Q. What is your clay court schedule? What are the chances that that may change now?
RAFAEL NADAL: Nothing change. Even if it’s sad to finish these two tournaments like this, playing two semifinals is a good result for me.
First three tournaments of the year I played final and two semifinals in very difficult tournaments, so that’s the positive thing that stays on my mind, playing good tennis. It’s true the last day I did not play good tennis, but my knee is not ready to play good tennis.
So in general, I am very happy almost about everything. My schedule gonna be the same. Monte Carlo, Barcelona, first two tournaments.
Q. How worrying is it to have the same thing happen again with your knee when you thought it was fixed?
RAFAEL NADAL: Less than if I have a new thing, because something that happened in the past, I know what to do to get better quick, and that’s what we’re gonna try.
Q. So where are you going now? Where are you going from here? Are you going back to Mallorca?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know yet. I gonna I have to check a few things. I want to go to visit the doctor, and I don’t know if I will be able to do it I will try to do it as fast as possible, to try to come back on court as quick as possible, too.
Q. Did you have any problems coming out of your training in February? When you went to Indian Wells, everything was good?
RAFAEL NADAL: I start to feel a little bit in Mallorca. But, no, everybody has almost everybody has pain when you are playing in this high level of competition, no?
The true is in Indian Wells I had I start to have problems on the knee before Indian Wells, and Indian Wells I have my problems on the knee. But that problem, no, are not limiting me to play at 100%.
So I played in Indian Wells with the normal conditions, playing in good shape physically and everything. Here is different.
Q. Is it described as tendinitis or something else?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah. But seriously the tendons are much better today than three years ago. The treatments worked fantastic.
Even if today a really bad knee and last couple of days were tough for me, but positive thing the tendon improve a lot the last couple of years.
I am more health with both tendons than now. So the treatments are working well. In 2009 I really compete but compete in very bad conditions a lot of times. For the last couple of years, 2010, 2011, I was able to compete with perfect conditions for almost all the year.
So that’s always fantastic when that’s happening. This year I started well with no problems. Today is bad news, but that’s the sport. We cannot expect playing as much as we play, be perfect every day of our life.
Today is my turn. Everybody have problems, and I will be working hard to be back quick on court and to play my best in Monte Carlo.
Q. You always play with a lot of injuries. Are you more cautious now? Because you always play with I remember US Open when you have the other thing. Are you more cautious now?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, no, I always try my best. But today I feel that I am not ready to compete, no? I always start hard. I tried in the US Open like the example in 2009, but I have big broke of the abdominal at the end of the US Open.
Then after US Open I had to stop for one month and a half with no competition. So I cannot repeat mistakes from the past, but that doesn’t mean that I am more afraid about playing with pains or not.
I try my best in every moment with pain, without pain, but when I see the situation is done and I cannot, I cannot. That’s it.
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