x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Nadal out of Davis Cup final

The world number one Rafael Nadal will miss Spain's Davis Cup final against Argentina this month after failing to recover from injury.

BARCELONA // The world number one Rafael Nadal will miss Spain's Davis Cup final against Argentina this month after failing to recover from tendinitis in his right knee. The French Open and Wimbledon champion said the decision to withdraw had been extremely difficult and added he had done everything possible to get fit but had decided to obey his doctors' orders. "I am used to playing with pain but this was a new and different pain I cannot control," he told a news conference.

"I am not feeling that great. These are very hard choices when you are an individual player, even more when you are playing doubles, but much more when it's about a Davis Cup team." The Olympic gold medallist Nadal, who took over as number one from Swiss Roger Federer in August, has blamed his injury on an overloaded tennis calendar. The injured knee forced him to pull out of the season-ending Masters Cup in Shanghai and he also had to retire from his Paris Masters quarter-final against Nikolay Davydenko last month.

The athletic Mallorcan has played 93 singles matches this year, winning 82 and collecting eight titles. He said that he did not think he had pushed himself too far. "I haven't done anything crazy to get to number one in the world," he said. "I don't feel ready to approach a match like this one and that's why I won't be there, much to my regret." The Spanish tennis federation (RFET) doctor Angel Ruiz Cotorro said that Nadal would have to rest for another 10 days.

"In two weeks he can start preseason training but he'll have to take it slowly," he told the news conference. "It's a new and acute injury and it is caused by violent movement." The RFET is expected to name its team tomorrow for the tie in Mar del Plata from Nov 21-23. Spain won the Cup in 2000 and in 2004 while Argentina are yet to win but reached the final in 2006 when they lost to Russia. The world number 12 David Ferrer is expected to take over as Spain's number one, with Tommy Robredo, Nicolas Almagro or Marcel Granollers joining doubles pair Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez to make up the four-man team.

"I know that my team mates can win the final without me," Nadal added. "We have the players to beat Argentina, although it won't be easy." *Reuters