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Sport Nadal's ATP absence sparks conflicting reports

03:33  27 february  2021
03:33  27 february  2021 Source:   wwos.nine.com.au

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Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal has confirmed he will miss the ATP finals in London and not play again this season after undergoing an operation on his right ankle in Barcelona. Nadal published a statement on Monday on social media in which he said it had "been a difficult year - very good on a tennis level when I have been able to play and, at the same time, very bad as far as injuries are concerned", Xinhua reported . Nadal ' s decision means that Novak Djokovic is guaranteed to end the year as the leader of the world rankings.

Rafael Nadal will not play in the Acapulco ATP tournament in March because of a back injury according to the world No.2 but there could be more to the story.

The world No 2, who is recovering from a lower back injury, told followers that the injury made it difficult to make such a long trip.

"I am very sorry not to participate in Acapulco 2021," the 34-year-old Nadal, champion in Acapulco in 2005, 2013 and 2020 wrote on Twitter.

"It is a difficult year for everyone and in my current state of health, with a bad back, it is impossible to make such a long trip.

"I love Acapulco, I have played the last four years, but this year it is not possible. Hopefully in 2022!"

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Nadal published a statement on Monday on social media in which he said it had "been a difficult year - very good on a tennis level when I have been able to play and, at the same time, very bad as far as injuries are concerned", Xinhua reported . "I have done everything possible to reach the end of the season in full fitness, both for Paris and London; I really wanted to play. Nadal ' s decision means that Novak Djokovic is guaranteed to end the year as the leader of the world rankings. Meanwhile, Nadal ' s place in the ATP finals will be taken by the American, John Isner.

Nadal was due to play the second singles against Alex De Minaur in Spain' s tie against hosts Australia at the Rod Laver Arena but pulled out hours before his match. "Hi all, we have decided with #TeamSpain and my team, to not play today the first match of the @ATPCup here in #Melbourne since I have a stiff low back," Nadal said on Twitter. "Hopefully I'll be better for Thursday." Spain, who lost in the final of the inaugural ATP Cup last year, will play Greece on Thursday and Nadal would hope he would be fit to play the tie and get some match practice before the Feb.

Rafael Nadal wearing a hat: Rafael Nadal reacts during his quarter-final against Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Australian Open. Nadal lost 3-6 2-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 7-5, just the third time in his entire career that he's lost from two sets up. The others were against Roger Federer in the Miami Masters final of 2005 and versus Fabio Fognini in the US Open third round of 2015. © Getty Rafael Nadal reacts during his quarter-final against Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Australian Open. Nadal lost 3-6 2-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 7-5, just the third time in his entire career that he's lost from two sets up. The others were against Roger Federer in the Miami Masters final of 2005 and versus Fabio Fognini in the US Open third round of 2015.

However, it's emerged the tournament had been hit by financial difficulty with reduced crowds and additional costs due to the Coronavirus pandemic, virtually ending any chance for tournament organisers to bring any big names to Mexico. As a result the tournament decided to spread the money it pays in appearance fees between more players.

"We couldn't afford Nadal. The relationship with Carlos Costa (Nadal's agent) is super good and things were very open (but) the reality is that there are no funds to pay," tournament director Raul Zurutuza said.

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"Our budget for this year is super mega limited, so we decided to invest that money in bringing who we have to bring."

Tournaments below the Masters 1000 level often pay the world's leading players appearance fees.

Rafael Nadal hitting a ball with a racket: Rafael Nadal. (Getty) © Getty Rafael Nadal. (Getty)

It's understood the top players in the world like Nadal, Djokovic and Federer demand between $500,000 to $1 million just to appear at the events. Tournament organisers usually have no problem investing this type of money because of the amount of traffic the upper echelon bring in.

The tournament director also implied that money was tight because World No. 7 Alexander Zverev had already signed a contract to play and would receive an appearance fee.

"We already had a contract signed with Alexander Zverev and it was more expensive to cancel it than to pay him," Zurutuza added. "And the other players, the four or five that we invited with an appearance fee...their economic demands are substantially lower than what they normally do."

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Next Gen ATP Finals. ATP Masters 1000. ATP Challenger Tour. TV Schedule. What’ s interesting from the second serve data is that Rafael Nadal impressively has a higher second serve win percentage on clay than Roger Federer does on hard. As you will see from the table below in all 10 serve metrics, clay is without exception the toughest surface to serve on.

Rafael Nadal held 84.7 per cent of his service games that reached deuce during the 2019 ATP Tour season. Nadal held 84.7 per cent (105/124) of the time from deuce and was the only Top 10 player to push through the 90 per cent threshold holding from 2+ deuces, at 91.8 per cent (122/142). Nadal is well known for his concentration, grit, focus and not rushing when serving, which all play a part in him elevating his game in this specific area.

The world No.2's withdrawal will also see him miss next week's Rotterdam event. Nadal is unlikely to play again until the season's first Masters event in Miami from March 24.

The 20-time Grand Slam title winner, was bothered by the back injury in Melbourne where he was knocked out of the Australian Open in the quarter-finals by Stefanos Tsitsipas from two sets up.

The Spanish star could lose his number two world ranking next week to Russia's Daniil Medvedev if the Australian Open runner-up makes the final in Rotterdam.

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ATP provides financial aid to pandemic-hit events, players .
ATP provides financial aid to pandemic-hit events, players(Reuters) - ATP will spend upto $5.2 million from its funds to shore up prize money for the players at its events, which are financially hit by restrictions on ticket sales due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the men's tennis governing body said on Tuesday.

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