- 22 Sep 2019
Rafael Nadal was forced to pull out of his singles and doubles matches on day three of the Laver Cup with an “inflamed hand”.
The French Open and US Open champion had been set to feature in a high-profile doubles pairing with Roger Federer against John Isner and Jack Sock in the opening match of Sunday’s play.
Nadal was also set to take on Nick Kyrgios in singles later in the day, having been beaten by the Australian in a doubles contest late on Saturday.
But that match the previous day, in which Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas lost to Kyrgios and Sock, meant the Spaniard was not able to recover in time.
He complained of inflammation to his left hand on Sunday morning – an issue he says he has dealt with for “a couple of years” – and Tsitsipas was called in to take his place alongside Federer.
Thiem will play Kyrgios, meanwhile, with Team Europe aiming to wrap up a third straight title, carrying a narrow 7-5 lead into the final day.
Nadal said: “I am sad, of course. I was excited to play the doubles with Roger obviously – that’s the thing that makes me more sad because, in singles, I know Dominic is going to be there and he’s going to do unbelievably.
“Since a couple of years ago, I’ve had this bad feeling on the hand. It’s an inflamation of the hand – not the wrist.
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“Yesterday, I played and sometimes the next day you are a little bit better, sometimes you are a little bit worse. Today, I think it’s a little bit more inflamed.
“This morning, I woke up with that feeling that something is inflamed on the hand and I texted Roger and Thomas [Enqvist, vice-captain] and Bjorn [Borg, captain].
“We needed to find a solution because I don’t think I’m the right one to play today and we have a great team without me being 100 per cent. All the guys are unbelievable.”
He added: “Now, let’s support and hopefully we can achieve this.”