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3:16 pm - Saturday January 21, 9082

Nadal out of season-opening Abu Dhabi event

Agencies, London

Rafa Nadal has withdrawn from next week’s season-opening exhibition event in Abu Dhabi due to ongoing fitness problems, the world number one has said.

The 16-time grand slam champion, who won the French and U.S. Opens earlier this year, withdrew from the ATP Finals in November after struggling with a knee injury during his round-robin defeat by Belgian David Goffin.

The 31-year-old Spaniard, who has previously played at the tournament on eight occasions, will be replaced by compatriot Roberto Bautista Agut.

“It was a tough 2017 and I need to take my calendar in a different way in order to be ready,” Nadal told the Mubadala World Tennis Championships website. The Australian Open, the first major of the new season, begins on Jan. 15.

Posted in: Sports

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