Rafael Nadal withdraws from upcoming Miami Open

Al Bello/Getty Images North

World N0. 3 Rafael Nadal has ruled himself out of the Miami Open on Tuesday because of an ongoing back issue. The hard-court tournament begins next Tuesday.

Our champ posted on Twitter:

The 20-time Grand Slam champion earlier withdrew from this month’s tournament at Rotterdam, Netherlands. 


  1. Congratulations to Rafa’s good friend, RBA, he just beat D. Medvedev in straight sets.👏

    • Both RBA and his next opponent Sinner had extended training blocks with Rafa in the last few months. It should be a compelling match.

      Monte Carlo update: Thiem, Isner and Coric have withdrawn.

      • Can’t wait to watch them, I like both, so it’s one of those 49% vs 51% match lol. The same between Andrey and Sebi.

        Looking forward to watch Rafa in less than two weeks!🤗

      • Sad to learn about Thiem, Pauline. I know he he wants to play the FO so hopefully he pulled out from Monte Carlo as a precaution to be at his best for the FO.

      • Thiem is on the entry list for N.D.’s Serbia 250 in Belgrade on the 19th which he chose over the Barcelona 500 the same week. Will be interesting to see if he is fit to play by then.

      • I understand that Thiem will not be playing in Barcelona either. It isn’t due to injury, but because he wants to train and focus more on the rest of the clay tournaments. Obviously RG is uppermost in his mind.

      • Lorna, there may be something brewing in Belgrade.

        I am surprised that Thiem will not defend his Barcelona title, choosing instead to play the Belgrade Open being held at Djokovic’s tennis center.

        “Talking about his son’s decision to drop the 250 points from Barcelona and stake them at the Belgrade Open, Wolfgang Thiem said, ‘Djokovic asked him to play and he accepted. Dominic is looking forward to play in front of a crowd again.’”

        Djokovic’s brother is tournament director at Belgrade.

        In a Sports Illustrated article, Ben Rothenberg delineated reasons why the PTPA hasn’t gone anywhere and mentioned something about “someone’s brother being a tournament director.” I had no idea what he was referring to at the time.

        I wonder if player participation at Belgrade will be affected by the ATP/PTPA conflict.

  2. Wishing Juan Martin Del Potro all the very best for a full recovery from knee surgery on Tuesday – his fourth since the awful accident at the net at Queens in 2019.

    Delpo’s will and determination to get back on court and play at the Tokyo Olympics is truly admirable and I hope he gets there.

    • Lorna, I think he first injured/fractured his kneecap when he fell at the Shanghai Masters in 2018. Then in the 2019 Queens tournament he re-injured his knee. He’s been going through surgeries [4 as you stated] since 2018 in addition to less invasive procedures.

      I wasn’t optimistic about his return but after this fourth surgery this is what his current physician had to say: “…we are confident Mr. del Potro will have a swift recovery. The surgery was carried out successfully and he is recovering very well.” This sounds very promising. Like you, I hope to see him competing again. He’s had it really rough.

      • Yes, Margo. Delpo has had the most terrible luck with injuries. Although he fractured his right patella in Shanghai in 2018, his first knee surgery came in 2019 after Queens.

        He’s had a total of eight surgeries in his professional career :

        2010 : right wrist
        2014 -15 : three on left wrist
        2019 – 21 : four on right knee.

        [Source : tennismajors.com]

        In a way, this puts things into perspective and we just have to be thankful that, despite Rafa’s injury woes, he is still able to battle on without the need for the intervention of constant surgery.

      • Good point Lorna, regarding his first knee surgery in 2019. That’s what I alluded to [a time span] in my previous statement about “less invasive procedures” prior to deciding on surgery.

        This is the KICKER I found out only yesterday. JMDP started training in December of 2018 and although he initially injured his knee in October 2018, he didn’t have any bone fragments removed AND he is practicing. OMG

        Against his physician’s advice, he plays Delray Beach, February 2019, and makes it to the QF with his knee heavily strapped. He said he “didn’t want to watch tournaments from home” and had to play.

        I don’t think Rafa was ever this naughty about recuperating.

        His first surgery was performed on June 22, 2019, in Barcelona, by Rafa’s doctor, Angel Cotorro after Queens. The Spanish language article said he needed bone fragments removed.

        Still in pain, he flew to Miami where Dr. Lee Kaplan operated on him on January 27 2020.

        Still in pain, he then flew to Switzerland to see Roger’s doctor, Ronald Biedert, who operated on him August 26, 2020.

        His fourth surgery had him in Chicago last week yet with a different doctor.

        Best wishes to Juan Martin that his dream of competing again becomes reality.

  3. Dominic Thiem on Rafa:

    Luigi Gatto
    #Thiem: “It’s always great to face the Big Three because you learn something new every time. The key is to really believe you can win. I had the most epic matches against Rafa Nadal, both in 2020 #AusOpen and 2018 US Open. Rafa is so kind and nice, I speak to him about football!”

    The two adorables. I love Thiem’s accent.

  4. Another warrior is down, hopefully not for long.

    “Wawrinka said Thursday that he would be out “for a few weeks.” The French Open starts May 23; he won at Roland Garros in 2015.

    “After having some problems in my left foot for a while, I have decided to do a small procedure on it,” Wawrinka wrote on his social media accounts.

    The world No. 21, who turns 36 on Sunday, lost first-round matches at both tournaments he played this month, at Rotterdam and Doha.

    Wawrinka lost in the second round at the Australian Open in January.

    He could also target his local clay-court tournament in Switzerland in the week before the French Open. Wawrinka won the Geneva Open in 2016 and 2017, which was his last title on the ATP circuit.” .[Source: ESPN]

    Maybe Roger will play Swiss clay.

  5. A tweet just posted by Luigi Gatto:

    Luigi Gatto
    Marion Bartoli on Federer potentially losing his Grand Slam titles record: “He already got beaten in the No. 1 weeks by Djokovic and I don’t think he wants to lose all his records. But I don’t think he wants to put his body on the line just for one record.” Source: Tennis Majors

    One record he won’t break is Rafa’s 13 at Roland Garros, the record for most wins in a single‘s Slam.

  6. “TOKYO — Japan officially launched the Olympic torch relay on Thursday, four months before the Tokyo Summer Games are due to begin, in a ceremony at which spectators were banned and participants distanced from one another.“
    [Source: The Washington Post]

    Hoping Rafa will be at the Olympics and even win a medal or two.

  7. Andy Murray has joined the ever growing list of withdrawals from Miami, as he’s unable to play due to a “freak” groin injury. Like Roger, maybe he should just rest now and focus on the grass.

    • But unlike the list of Miami withdrawals, Andy’s withdrawal is based on injury, not logistics. As a layman, I think he’s pushing it. He believes he will be able to compete in the Masters and Slams but it’s not looking good. In his search for consistency, I hope he doesn’t undo the work that hip resurfacing surgery accomplished.

      Juan Martin del Potro had his fourth kneecap surgery yesterday. I hope he doesn’t go for a fifth and wishing him a good recovery.

  8. Excited to see Roger’s documentary about his foundation’s exhibition match in which Rafa Played a role.
    Roger Federer

    One year ago, I had one of the greatest highlights of my career by playing the Match in Africa 6 in Cape Town. With the help of some special friends, we broke a world record! Stay tuned for the full length doc.






  9. Michal Samulski
    Mar 19
    ATP1000 Miami Open withdrawals. So far…

    Carreno Busta
    Davidovich Fokina

    • Also Berrettini, Ruud, Millman, Ramos Vinolas, Pouille, Cecchinato, Londero, Carballes, Seppi, Gombos, Munar, Novak and Balasz for 32 of the top 100.

      Wonder if the uninformed fans who bought tickets a few weeks ago based on the entry list are peeved now.

      • WOW. Thanks for the update.

        I just finished reading an article about the do nothing governor Ron DeSantis and the growing numbers of COVID infections. So happy Rafa won’t be there.

  10. Michal Samulski
    Mar 18
    Draw ceremony of Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters will be held on Friday 9th April at 6:30 pm (local time) in the presence of Fabio Fognini, 2019 champion.

  11. I am surprised that Serena will not play Miami, her home town Masters event. She is recuperating after oral surgery. No details were given.

    • I am hoping he’s too tired for clay season. Seems like Monte Carlo will be a rumble among the top players. I do wonder if 2021 will be the year qualifiers step up.

  12. I wonder if Dominic and Rafa have had a chance to talk foot pain. As I said earlier, I thought Dominic’s blister problem was a one-time occurrence when he withdrew from the 2020 Paris Masters. Recently the same problem flared up during the Vienna Open.

    I was surprised to find the following detailed statement, made by his physio in 2020.

    “[Dominic Thiem] did not suffer from a typical blister [but] rather a tissue contusion on the metatarsophalangeal joint of the big toe,” Stober said. “I’m sure that he can prepare for London in the next four or five days.” [Source: Sportskeeda]

    Rafa, his team and doctor found a solution to alleviate his foot pain so I’m hoping the same for Dominic.

  13. Rafa is on the list of players for Monte Carlo, along with Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev, Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev. Roger Federer is as yet unconfirmed.

    It’s a very strong field and I’m keen to see Rafa bounce back on the clay.

    • It’s important to remember that an entry list is not a player list as currently illustrated by the Miami Open whose draw has been decimated. We won’t know until closer to the tournament who will actually show up but no doubt most of the Europeans will be there.

      • Mark, of course, what you say is true and the list isn’t written in stone. 80% of the top 50 players are from Europe, so we should expect a strong showing from them, fitness permitting. Those from North America and Australia have never relished the long travel to Europe to play on clay, so we’ll see what unfolds, all things considered.

    • FYI Fed has put out that he will not be playing any of the clay tournaments iincluding the French Open. Always possible that he could change his mind I suppose.

      • I think it was a huge mistake for Roger to say he would play clay as a means to play matches to be ready for Wimbledon and the Olympics, his top priorities for 2021. To get match practice he could play a low-tier tournament. He stated his shoulder muscles were pretty sore after playing two best-of-three matches at Doha.

        As recently as March 11, according to Forbes, this was Roger’s thinking:

        “What comes before the grass courts are the clay courts,” Federer said. “So from that standpoint, I have no choice but to play on clay if I want to play matches.

        “It could be good for me, the clay. It could be bad for me, the clay. So I will only know in practice, but I don’t think it’s going to be bad, to be honest.”

  14. I am not worried about Rafa because he has the best possible therapy for getting better. According to Eurosport he has disconnected and is enjoying nature the natural beauty of Mallorca. He and Maymo are mountain biking as part of his therapy to get back on court. Glad he is enjoying the fruits of his labor.

    “Enjoying his time on the beautiful island of Mallorca ahead of more on-court duties, Nadal and his physiotherapist Rafa Maymo took out their mountain bikes and went from Porto Cristo to Cala Millor and appreciated the coastal landscape before returning home.“

      • 👍😊 Can’t wait to see Rafa back in action……💪❤️
        Thanks Margo🙏

      • Hiya Mimi,

        I don’t like commercials or ads but a new promo by @Babalot on Twitter is all Rafa and I did enjoy it.

        How are you doing? Hoping you’re not in Atlanta and all is ok.

      • Let me check it out.😉

        I am fine, and thank you so much for asking, Margo🙏😘
        So sad……

  15. There are those who thought that Rafa was deliberately ducking the hard court tournaments after the AO, because he feared his opponents. Nonsense! His latest withdrawal from Miami comes as no surprise to me, because of his recurring back problem.

    A lower back injury can’t be remedied overnight and complete back rest for a prolonged period is vital for the healing process and if Rafa is to have any chance of recovery in time for the clay season. I hope very much that our champ wins this race against time.

    • Now Theim is also skipping Miami in order to be ready for the clay season. Its hard for us fans to know what Rafa’s decision really means about his back but avoiding hard courts right now can’t hurt his chances.

      • David,

        It appears that Thiem’s foot problem hasn’t gone away. I am surprised and sad for him because I thought it was a one-off occurrence. The following is from two days ago.

        “The world number four revealed last week he was suffering from a long-standing foot problem, saying he ‘feels it every day.’

        However, he has now added that he does not expect to see it worsen, and the softness of a clay surface usually helps him deal with it.

        “Yeah, of course, I mean, on hardcourt, it’s a little bit worse, than on clay,” Dominic Thiem said.

        “I can slide it out. It’s a way softer surface. But I mean, I’m, I have a little bit of pain there since many, many years, actually, since a very young age.

        “That’s why it’s not bothering me too much. Sometimes it’s worse, sometimes it’s better.“

        I thought it was a blister problem. This is awful.

    • I too think that Rafa has made a wise decision. It makes no sense for him to travel all the way to Miami to play a gruelling hard court tournament with an injured back (even if it is better than it was in Australia). The last thing he needs at this stage in his very long and illustrious career is a chronic back injury. Let’s hope that the extra time away from the Tour will enable him to recover fully. I hate to say it but Djokovic is now on top form again and will take some beating if/when Rafa has to play him. (Medvedev’s game style is not best suited to clay so I am hoping that Rafa can overtake him in the Rankings so that he does not have to play Djokovic before the Final of any of the upcoming tournaments on clay.) We know Rafa has and still can beat ‘all-comers’ on clay but he will need to be fully fit to do it.

  16. I had always thought Rafa’s 2021 schedule was a bit aggressive. The truth is we will never truly know the severity of his back injury in Australia or even now. Hardcourt tournaments have presented its issues on Rafa’s body and I think it’s a smart move to pull out of Miami and not risk the rest of the year.

    Hopefully he will be ready for the start of the clay court season which we know is very near and dear to him and to us as well!

    Wishing Rafa strength and recovery…

    VAMOS RAFA!!!!

  17. In hindsight rafa made a mistake playing the australian open. He should have done the same as federer withdraw he has made the injury worse god knows when he will be back.

    He again is putting everything on clay court season like he usely does. He has missed four tournaments in a row. I am now not very optimistic about this season. He has lost his nr 2 ranking. I dont know if medvedev is going to lose that nr 2 ranking to rafa.

    I have a fear this season will be like 2015 where djokovic is going to win the biggest tournaments and nadal will only win maybe the french open and will lose against low players. I hope i am wrong.

    Once again he made a mistake by playing the australian open he should have llisten to his body

  18. Rafa stay safe and get well soon we miss you at the tennis court vamosssssss champ 🎾😘👍💪🇺🇸

  19. All the best in your recovery and rehab. Stay strong and safe.💪👍🤛🍀🎾❤️

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