Rafael Nadal Withdraws from Buenos Aires Due to Illness

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World No. 1 Rafael Nadal has announced his withdrawal from next week’s Copa Claro in Buenos Aires, citing a stomach virus that has hindered his recovery from his back injury.

“Due to the back injury, I haven’t been able to practise since I came back from Australia,” the World No. 1 said in a video message Thursday. “I had the intention to practise today but it all has been delayed due to a stomach virus that I have.”

The Spaniard believed it was virtually impossible for him to perform adequately at in Buenos Aires, having not been able to complete a single training session since suffering his back injury at the Australian Open. With only four days until the start of the tournament, Nadal chose to withdraw in order to compete his recovery process in time for the Rio Open the following week.

“We are only four days away from the beginning of the tournament, and without having trained a single day on court after Australia and with the stomach problem I am suffering, it makes it impossible for me to arrive with the adequate preparation to compete in such an important and demanding tournament like Buenos Aires.

“I am very sorry I have to take this sad decision. I feel sorry for all the fans, tournament organisers who had invited me and showed interest for me to be there and, especially for me, I was really looking forward to come back to Buenos Aires and to a country which I love very much like Argentina. I hope to return soon.”

The world No. 1 is still scheduled to return to professional competition at the inaugural Rio Open, Brazil’s first ATP World Tour 500 tournament, which begins on February 17.

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