Nadal to miss Doha, targeting Indian Wells return

Rafael Nadal is still not 100 percent fit, and unlikely to play in Doha next week. Indian Wells, which begins in the first week of March, is his next target.

Rafael Nadal Brisbane 2024 © Tertius Pickard/AP/SIPA

Rafael Nadal isn’t quite ready to return to the ATP Tour, and has officially pulled out of the main draw at Doha, which begins on February 19. He announced the news on X, the website formerly known as Twitter, on Wednesday evening.

“I would have loved to play in Doha, where the tournament team, as well as the amazing Qatar fans have always supported me greatly,” he said. “Unfortunately I am not ready to compete and I won’t be able to come to Doha where I really wanted to be and play again after that unforgettable win in 2014.”

37-year-old Nadal reports that he is still not 100 percent recovered from the injury that forced him to withdraw from this year’s Australian Open.

“I’ve had some discomfort these past few weeks and I’m a bit on the limit,” Nadal said in an interview with La Sexta television (due to air on Wednesday evening), according to the AFP. “At this point every blow I take, every injury, is a setback not only in tennis and physically, but also mentally.

“I will travel to Indian Wells for sure if there is nothing wrong.”

Nadal announced that he plans to compete in an exhibition in Las Vegas, called “The Netflix Slam”, with Carlos Alcaraz.

“I will focus on keep working to be ready for the exhibition in Las Vegas and the amazing Indian Wells tournament,” he said.

“I would love to be in Doha, what I know is that it’s cutting it fine. I see the decision for Doha more at the last minute. I will travel to Indian Wells for sure if there is nothing wrong.’

Rafael Nadal, to La Sexta

The Spaniard is excited to make his return to Indian Wells, where he is a three-time champion. He also hinted that his trip to the California desert could be his last.

“I am 100 percent confident of being in Indian Wells, it’s a very special tournament for me,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s going to be the last time I play in it, so I would like to be in Indian Wells, for sure.”

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