x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Queen's Club pays price as Rafael Nadal opts out

Rafael Nadal has announced he will skip the traditional Wimbledon warm-up event at Queen¿s Club next year. Fans of the Spaniard in Shanghai will also see less of him after he was knocked out of the Shanghai Masters by Florian Mayer 7-6 (5), 6-3 on Thursday.

Rafael Nadal falling out of the Shanghai Masters to Florian Mayer ensures that Novak Djokovic will end the year as the men's world No 1.
Rafael Nadal falling out of the Shanghai Masters to Florian Mayer ensures that Novak Djokovic will end the year as the men's world No 1.

SHANGHAI // Rafael Nadal has announced he will skip the traditional Wimbledon warm-up event at Queen's Club next year.

Fans of the Spaniard in Shanghai will also see less of him after he was knocked out of the Shanghai Masters by Florian Mayer 7-6 (5), 6-3 on Thursday.

Nadal, citing stringent British tax laws, said he can "lose money" when he plays at a tournament in Britain because of the revenue regulations.

But the men's world No 2 said he will still play Wimbledon and next month's ATP World Tour finals in London.

Overseas athletes are taxed on prize money and appearance fees in Britain, and also on a proportion of their worldwide endorsement earnings. Instead of playing at Queen's, Nadal decided to accept an invitation to enter the grass court tournament held the same week in Halle, Germany.

Nadal will not have to worry about sharing a big purse with any taxman in Shanghai thanks to Mayer.

The German made the crucial breakthrough in the seventh game of the second set to lead 4-3. The Spaniard could not respond and was broken again in the final game with the 15th seed taking his first match point.

"I felt that I was not playing badly from the baseline," Nadal said. "But my return, when he was serving the first serve, was terrible tonight. I only won four points in the whole match on his first serve."

Nadal's loss also ensures that Novak Djokovic will end the year as the men's world No 1.

After talking about losing to Mayer, Nadal said that London risked losing the showcase end-of-season ATP World Tour Finals because of the high rate of British tax. The Spaniard said the 50 per cent tax on players' appearance fees, winnings and a proportion of their worldwide endorsement earnings could see the glamour event featuring the top eight men being staged elsewhere unless the law is changed.

"It is really tough what is happening today in the UK with the tax," he said.

In other matches, Andy Roddick advanced with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Nicolas Almagro, and Andy Murray defeated Stanislas Wawrinka 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

"Stan was playing very well," Murray said. "I was trying to control the ball, especially the middle of the second set, [and] I was really struggling."

Elsewhere, Petra Kvitova the women's world No 4, will lead the Czech Fed Cup team against Russia, the four-time champions, on November 5 and 6 in Moscow.