x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Nadal is justified

Andy Roddick understands Rafael Nadal's decision not to play at the Masters Cup with the Davis Cup final looming later this month.

SHANGHAI // Andy Roddick understands Rafael Nadal's decision not to play at the Masters Cup with the Davis Cup final looming later this month. "Rafa's earned every right to pick and choose what he wants to prioritise," Roddick said yesterday, dismissing suggestions that the top-ranked Nadal should have tried to play in Shanghai. "He's also responsible to his teammates and his country."

Nadal defaulted in Paris last week with what he later called tendinitis in his right knee. He then pulled out from the Masters Cup, which normally would have been the end of his season. But Spain play Argentina in the Davis Cup final the weekend after the Shanghai tournament ends on Nov 16. "The organisers are not happy," Novak Djokovic said while adding Nadal's decision was "totally understandable".

Roger Federer, who reported he will play Davis Cup for Switzerland in at least the first round next year, said that while the fans in Shanghai will miss out on seeing the No 1 player in action, the Swiss player isn't disappointed. After all, the two players were in different groups for round-robin play and may not have played each other. "We're not dating," Federer said with a chuckle when asked if he was sorry Nadal isn't here.

* Reuters