A week following his Australian Open quarterfinal loss, Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from his next event. On Thursday, the world No. 2 withdrew from the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam due to his ongoing back injury. It’s the same injury that forced him to pull out of his ATP Cup matches in early February.
It is with great sadness that I have to forfeit from Rotterdam. As most of the fans know, I suffered some back problems in Australia that started in Adelaide and continued during Melbourne. We found a temporary solution that allowed me to play without pain in the second week ????????— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) February 25, 2021
In a statement posted to social media, Nadal explained that when he returned home from his long stay in Melbourne, he was advised by his doctor to take it easy.
“Once I got back to Spain I visited my doctor and together with my team they’ve advised not to play this upcoming week,” he wrote on Twitter. “I was really looking forward to coming back to Rotterdam and The Netherlands since it’s been a while I played there.
“This was the perfect year for my calendar. I hope to come back and play there soon. All the best to the tournament, always a top class event.”
After squandering a two-set lead against Stefanos Tsistipas in Melbourne last week, the 34-year-old refused to blame it on his injury, saying that there were "no problems with [his] back."
With Nadal's withdrawal, Australian Open finalist Daniil Medvedev will take over the No. 2 ranking on March 8 for the first time in his career if he reaches the Rotterdam final.
With Rafael Nadal's withdrawal, @DaniilMedwed will become the World No. 2 on 8 March if he reaches the @ABNAMROWTT final.— ATP Media Info (@ATPMediaInfo) February 25, 2021
Medvedev would add 210 points if he reaches the Rotterdam final, which would replace the 90 points he earned at 2020 @ErsteBankOpen. https://t.co/9pi8vyMUQM
Elsewhere, fellow 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer’s clothing sponsor Uniqlo released the Swiss’ latest outfits, using the hashtag #FedererReturns.
Federer, who has not played since bowing out to eventual champion Novak Djokovic in last year’s Australian Open semifinals, will make his much-anticipated return at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha next month from a pair of right-knee surgeries.