September 22, 2023

Open Court


Rafael Nadal out of Miami Open



In an announcement that isn’t a huge surprise, Rafael Nadal announced Tuesday that he’s out of Miami.

The new world No. 3 (that takes a little getting used to) is the second member of the “Big Three” to announce he won’t be making the trip to South Florida.

Roger Federer, who returned after 14 months away in Doha, then withdrew from Dubai this week, announced that he wouldn’t play Miami earlier in the month.

Notably, Dominic Thiem and Nick Kyrgios also have withdrawn in recent days.

The combination of travelling during a pandemic, only having one tournament in the U.S. (with Indian Wells cancelled again) and the greatly reduced prize money are some of the fruit in the basket of issues that is making it relatively easy for some players to make the call.

Last Nadal trip to Miami in 2016

Nadal on the practice in Miami in 2017, the last time he hit South Florida.

Nadal hasn’t been to Miami since 2017, when he reached the final and lost to Roger Federer.

This year, without the Indian Wells-Miami doubles, and with Nadal not playing Acapulco either, it was a long trip for one hard-court tournament when he will spend the rest of the spring focusing on the clay.

He has never won it. But Nadal has been a finalist on five occasions – the first one all the way back in 2005 when he won the first two sets against Federer, but lost in five.

(Remember those fabulous days when the “Masters 1000” tournaments had best-of-five in the final?)

He also reached the final in 2008, 2011 and 2014.

By that three-year cycle – too bad there was no Miami Open in 2020 or he’d have reached the final again.

A total of 11 out of Miami so far

Nadal joins Federer, Pablo Andujar, Pablo Cuevas, Richard Gasquet, Nick Kyrgios, Guido Pella, Gilles Simon, Dominic Thiem, Lucas Pouille and Stan Wawrinka on the increasingly long list of withdrawals on the men’s side.

On the WTA side, the pullouts have been limited so far.

Donna Vekic, who had recent knee surgery, Barbora Strycova and Hsieh Su-Wei are the only players we’ve learned of who will not be coming.

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