Rafael Nadal explains why he will skip Miami Open as he admits quick transition will be ‘dangerous’

Rafael Nadal unsure

Rafael Nadal opted to skip the Miami Open as he wanted to give his body a break before the clay-court season with the 21-time Grand Slam winner admitting that a swift transition from hard court to clay would have been “dangerous”.

The 35-year-old announced last week that he would not compete at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Florida as he will head back to Spain after this week’s Indian Wells event.

Nadal has had a busy start to the 2022 season as he played two events in Australia, winning the Melbourne Summer Set and Australian Open, before heading to Acapulco for the Mexican Open, which he also won.

He took his unbeaten run for the season to 17-0 with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Dan Evans at the BNP Paribas Open on Monday and after the match he was asked about his decision not to play in Miami.

“I didn’t play Miami for the last couple of years. I am almost 36. I played much more than what I expected at the beginning of the season,” the five-time Miami Open runner-up said.

“For my body, it is not good to have quick transitions from different surfaces. Clay to hard — well, hard to clay. If I play Miami, I will not have time to rest and not time to make a swift transition to the clay.

“I need to push since the beginning very hard, so that’s dangerous for my foot, for my knees. I need to make that transitions step by step. I cannot make drastic changes like I did in the past, so that’s why I decided to stop after here and to have, like, three weeks before the clay court season start for me.”

As for his win over Evans, Nadal feels his form in Indian Wells is improving.

“It’s important victory against a tricky opponent,” he said. “It’s not an easy opponent to play. He plays tactically very well, using very well his slice, then playing aggressive, changing rhythms on the points.

“Yeah, have been a positive win for me. Happy to save that tough moment in the first set, then the things went a little bit better later.”