‘I don’t think I am ready to play yet,’ says Rafael Nadal as he gives schedule update

Rafael Nadal fully focused

Rafael Nadal won’t make his comeback at the Dubai Tennis Championships next week with the 20-time Grand Slam winner confirming that his comeback has been delayed.

The Spaniard started the 2021 season under an injury cloud as he didn’t feature in the ATP Cup due to a back problem, but he was fit enough to play at the Australian Open.

He exited the hard-court Grand Slam at the quarter-final stage after losing in five sets against Stefanos Tsitsipas and was initially expected to make his return at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament at the end of February.

The world No 2, though, withdrew from the Rotterdam event and was then offered a wildcard to play in the ATP 500 event in Dubai next week.

However, he has turned down the invite from organisers and is now expected to make his comeback at the ATP Masters 1000 Miami Open, which starts on 22 March.

“I would like to thank the @DDFTennis for the wild card invitation sent to me. We seriously thought about coming to play, but I don’t think I am ready to play yet.

“Once again thanks to the tournament’s kind invitation and best of luck with the tournament.”

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