Nadal withdraws from Rotterdam; Uniqlo releases Federer's latest gear

Nadal withdraws from Rotterdam; Uniqlo releases Federer's latest gear

Federer, who has not played since last year's Australian Open, will make his much-anticipated return at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha next month from a pair of right-knee surgeries.

A week following his Australian Open quarterfinal loss, Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from his next event.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.

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.

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.