Rafael Nadal out of ATP cup tie with Stefanos Tsitsipas with a back issue
Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from his tie with Stefanos Tsitsipas in the ATP cup with a lower back issue. Nadal was due to represent Spain in their tie against Greece at Melbourne Park.
Rafael Nadal still feels he is not at the level of fitness to play at his best, but there has been improvements on the condition of his back. He had also been forced to withdraw from his tie against Australian Alex De Minaur in another group stage match. The 20 time major winner practiced for an hour on Thursday at Melbourne Park, but did not feel well enough to commit to the tie against Greece.
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. Hopefully I’ll be better for Thursday. We have a strong team, all the to @pablocarreno91 @BautistaAgut & @M_Granollers #vamos 🇪🇸
— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) February 2, 2021
It brings worries for the Spaniard as the Australian Open is only 4 days away. Rafael Nadal has recently described his hunger for more Grand Slam titles, he can move ahead of his long term rival Roger Federer with one more title. However he has been keen to insist he is not ‘obsessed’ or feeling the additional pressure from this potentially incredible achievement. Speaking to CNN he said:
“It would be amazing for me to win one more. But I know that will not be the key for my happiness in the future. It’s not extra pressure and it’s not an obsession.”
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The second version of the ATP cup is serving as a chance to regain fitness and form before the Australian open for many of the top players in the world. With Spain the runners up in last years competition, hope for victory would have been high. However it leaves Pablo Carreno Busta and Roberto Bautista Agut to continue the fight in Spain’s tie against Greece. Roberto Bautista Agut will be looking to maintain his 100% record in the ATP cup as she squares up against Stefanos Tsitsipas. If Spain are able to win one of their matches in the tie against Greece they will progress to the next round.
With the Australian Open around the corner, starting on February 8, Nadal will be aiming to reach his full fitness in time for the first Grand Slam of the year. It does seem that Nadal will be ready for the Australian Open and that this is a precautionary measure to make sure the 20 time Grand Slam champion is as ready as possible.