Rafael Nadal’s start to the 2018 season will be delayed. The World No. 1 has to withdraw from next week’s Abu Dhabi exo. Nadal finished 2017 with knee issues and reportedly he’s still not 100% ready.
“I am very sorry and disappointed to announce that I won’t be competing this year at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship,” Nadal said. “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 organizers 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.”
Nadal will be replaced by countryman Roberto Bautista Agut.
Nadal is still scheduled to start the year in official capacity at the ATP event in Brisbane.
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