Aussie warm-up tourneys hoping for Rafa

by: Matt Cronin December 27, 2012

The race is on between two Australian tournaments to try and secure a commitment from Rafael Nadal to accept a wild card invitation. Nadal just pulled out of the Abu Dhabi exhibition with the stomach flu, and it is unclear whether he will be healthy enough to contest the ATP tournament in Doha next week. The Spaniard has not played since Wimbledon. The eight-man exhibition at the Kooyong Club in Melbourne, which begins on January 9, is holding a spot open for him, as is the ATP stop in Sydney, which begins on January 7.

“I’m sorry to hear that Rafa’s plans for a return in Abu Dhabi are not as he wanted,” Kooyong tournament director Colin Stubs told the Australian media. “We’ve not heard anything official but his management knows we are ready to help if we can.”

Sydney tournament director Craig Watson has also been in contact with Nadal’s agent.

“It hasn’t suited him in the past, but this year is different because he’s carrying an injury and he needs to be match fit before the Australian Open,” Watson told The Daily Telegraph. “It’s only his stomach, but if the problem continues he could very well be looking to play that second week of January, which would be great. No question it’s a long shot, but where he is now things could quickly become unhinged if he doesn’t get that match practice.”

More Stories

Hey, Makarova...Serena to replay 2014 U.S. Open semifinal in first round of this year’s draw

Immediate reaction to the women’s bracket reveal in Queens.

Johnson vs. Del Potro in round two? 2016 U.S. Open men’s draw offers tantalizing possibilities, early and often

Nick Kyrgios could meet his old buddy Stan Wawrinka in the fourth round.

Juan Martin del Potro could loom in U.S. Open first round for seeds

Olympic silver medalist Juan Martin del Potro is unseeded at the year's final major, which starts Monday.