Nadal Skips 2024 Miami Open Participation Ahead Of March Comeback

Nadal Skips 2024 Miami Open Participation Ahead Of March Comeback

by Nurein Ahmed

Rafael Nadal is expected to return to action next month, playing in two events, but none of them will be at the Miami Open.

The entry list for the second Masters 1000 tournament on the ATP calendar was recently revealed, where the likes of Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz, and Jannik Sinner will spearhead a 96-player field at the Miami Gardens in late March.

Nadal's name, however, was not part of fold. The 37-year-old last played at the Miami Open in 2017 and has elected not to compete there despite qualifying for a protected ranking entry. Instead, it looks like the legendary Spaniard will stick to his original plan of staying healthy for clay.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion has previously stated that his objective is to "enjoy the clay season" despite enduring another injury setback on his return to action at last month's Brisbane International.

Nadal won a pair of matches Down Under, demonstrating a great level in his game, but damaged another hip muscle during a quarterfinal defeat to Jordan Thompson at the tournament. He subsequently withdrew from the 2024 Australian Open.

After undergoing scans, he confirmed that he would not be out for long and even signed up to play at the Qatar Open this week. But those plans were dashed when Nadal pulled out, citing the need for additional recovery.

Instead, he swapped the tennis court for a golf course last weekend, winning a mid-amateur golf tournament in his native Spain. He will return to the tennis court in time for the Netflix Slam exhibition match against Carlos Aclaraz at the start of March.

Nadal has also chosen to play at the Indian Wells Masters, which begins on March 6th. His decision not to play Miami means that he is unlikely to win the Golden Masters in his career. This is one of three Masters 1000 tournaments (with Shanghai and Paris-Bercy) that he has never won.


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