Rafael Nadal withdraws from Laver Cup due to ‘personal reasons’ – report
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French tennis star Rafael Nadal pulled out from participating in the Laver Cup on Friday due to “personal reasons,” an official said, in a move the world’s most-favored male player is not expected to make up.
Nadal’s withdrawal puts an end to the four-day tournament that was to have been Nadal’s first of the year as the world’s No. 1 singles player.
World No.1 Serena Williams, who has taken part in the Laver Cup since it began in 2004, will be his replacement.
“It is with great sadness that Rafa Nadal has withdrawn from Laver Cup,” the tournament’s president, Mike Costello, said in a statement released on Twitter. Nadal will now be replaced by a line-up featuring Williams.
The Laver Cup is a high-profile event that has been a finalist for singles titles on all the grand slam circuit since its inception.
The last time Nadal pulled out because of a health concern was at the French Open in September last year. At the time, the 31-year-old said he had been suffering from an infection.
“There’s a lot of things happening, but I will clarify on Thursday,” he said earlier this month. “I had a few things at the moment, a few things in my head, and it’s the same this week, right now. I’ll have more when I have the clarity on Thursday.”
It is rare for a player not to compete after withdrawing. In the case of Nadal, however, an exception has been made when he was scheduled to play last month in London.
The withdrawal of World No. 1 Andy Murray and No. 2 Novak Djokovic, this year’s U.S. Open champions, has caused further uncertainty about a potential final in the U.S. on April 2-3 at the New York Tennis Garden. The U.S Open is the final match of the