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Why Rafael Nadal will skip the ATP 500 event in Dubai

TENNIS By Reuters | March 11th 2021
Tennis - "The Match In Africa" Exhibition Match - Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa - February 7, 2020. Switzerland's Roger Federer in action during the exhibition match against Spain's Rafael Nadal. [REUTERS/Mike Hutchings/File Photo]

Rafa Nadal will not compete at next week's ATP 500 event in Dubai as he has not recovered fully from a back issue sustained ahead of the Australian Open, the world No.2 said on Thursday.

Nadal struggled with the problem in the build-up to the year's first Grand Slam and skipped Spain's ATP Cup ties but still managed to reach the quarter-finals at Melbourne Park without dropping a set before losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The 34-year-old 20-times Grand Slam champion has not played since that defeat and was awarded a wild card to compete at the March 14-20 tournament in Dubai.

"I would like to thank the @DDFTennis for the wild card invitation sent to me," Nadal said on Twitter.

Rafael Nadal arrives at Adelaide Airport ahead of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Adelaide, Australia, January 14, 2021. Picture was taken January 14, 2021. [AAP Image/Morgan Sette via REUTERS]

"We seriously thought about coming to play, but I don't think I am ready to play yet."

Nadal is still entered at the Miami Open, an ATP 1000 event to be held from March 24-April 4. 

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