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Nadal pulls out of ATP tourney

Rafael Nadal announced Thursday that he was pulling out of next week’s ATP tournament in Rotterdam to recover from the back problems that hampered him in Australia.

The world number two withdrew from the ATP Cup in Adelaide before the Australian Open, in which he struggled with back pain before losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarter-finals earlier this month.

“It is with great sadness that I have to forfeit from Rotterdam,” Nadal said in a statement from the tournament organizers.

“As most of the fans know, I suffered some back problems in Australia that started in Adelaide and continued during Melbourne.

“We found a temporary solution that allowed me to play without pain in the second week of the tournament. Once I got back to Spain I visited my doctor and together with my team they’ve advised not to play this upcoming week.”

The 20-time Grand Slam champion was due to be playing in Rotterdam for the first time since 2009.

His absence leaves Australian Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev as the top seed, with Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev, and Andrey Rublev also in the draw. “I was really looking forward to coming back to Rotterdam and the Netherlands,” added Nadal. “I hope to come back and play there soon.”*AFP

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