Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic cancel planned exhibition match in Saudi Arabia

A planned exhibition match between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in Saudi Arabia has been called off.

Getty Images

Rafa and Nole were due to take part in a one-off exhibition contest in Jeddah on December 22. They committed to the event over a year ago and were under pressure to pull out after Amnesty International condemned the plans following the recent death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The Serb told BBC Sport on Friday:

Nadal is injured, so the match is not happening this year.

Thankfully, the exhibition match is finally cancelled. And let’s be honest we all know it’s not just because of Rafa’s injury and Nole is likely to face more questions about the situation in the coming days. Anyway, it was a safe excuse to do the right thing.

Source: BBC

Advertisements

Rafael Nadal Wins Sportsmanship Award

Rafael Nadal has won the ATP tour’s Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award for the second time, ending Roger Federer’s streak of seven in a row.

The ATP announced earlier today:

Fellow players voted Nadal as the winner of the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award for a second time, recognising the Spaniard for his fair play, professionalism and integrity on and off the court. Nadal also received this honour in 2010. This season, the 32-year-old Spaniard spent 36 weeks atop the ATP Rankings and won five titles, including record 11th titles at Roland Garros, Monte-Carlo and Barcelona. Off the court, Nadal supported flood relief efforts in Mallorca.

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Federer, Juan Martin del Potro and Kevin Anderson were the others nominated for the award.

ATP Awards:

Comeback of the year: Novak Djokovic

Most improved player: Stefanos Tsitsipas

Newcomer of the year: Alex de Minaur

Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award: Rafael Nadal

Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award: Tommy Robredo

Coach of the year: Marian Vajda

Fans’ favourite singles player: Roger Federer

Fans’ favourite doubles team: Mike Bryan/Jack Sock

ATP Masters 1000 event of the year: Indian Wells

ATP 500 event of the year: Queen’s

ATP 250 event of the year: Stockholm

Source: ATP World Tour

Rafael Nadal injury latest: Ankle surgery went well

Rafael Nadal’s ankle operation that forced his withdrawal from the ATP Finals in London went well, he confirmed earlier today:

Hello everyone, thank you for the messages I received. The ankle surgery went well and from home I am informing you that we postpone the exhibition party planned for the victims in Llevant de Mallorca.

Rafa spotted leaving hospital with his right ankle in a bandage following surgery on Monday. He supported himself of crutches.

His surgery was carried out in Barcelona by doctors Jaume Vilaro and Angel Ruiz-Cotorro.

Dr Ruiz-Cotorro said of Rafa’s recovery:

Now there is a process of progressive recovery ahead of us.

It will be 48 hours very quiet, to see how it evolves, and then start moving the ankle and work a lot in the pool.

When a longer period has elapsed, we will start with charges and supports.

We will go at the right speed within what common sense allows us. Without hurry, but without pause.

I think we will reach the new season if everything goes according to plan. We are convinced that 2019 can begin normally.

Sources: El Espanol, Daily Express

Injured Rafael Nadal withdraws from ATP World Tour Finals

Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the season-ending ATP Finals due to a persistent abdominal injury and will take the time off to have ankle surgery.

He lost his place as world number one last week when injury forced him to pull out of the Paris Masters, with Novak Djokovic moving to the top of the rankings.

And Rafa will not get the opportunity to end the year on a high as he will not play in London, citing both last week’s abdominal issue and a long-standing ankle problem for his absence.

Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images

“It has been a complicated year — very good at the tennis level when I have been able to play and, at the same time, very bad as far as injuries are concerned,” Rafa wrote in a series of messages on his Twitter page. “I have done everything possible to get to the end of the season in good condition, both to Paris and to London, doing things well, and I really wanted to play.

“Unfortunately I had the abdominal problem in Paris last week and I also have a free body in the ankle joint that has to be removed in the operating room today.”

“It is true that we had detected for some time and occasionally bothered me. However, since the problem in the abdominal muscle also prevents me from playing in London, we take the time to remove the free body and avoid future problems. This way I hope to be in full condition for next season.”

Get well soon, Rafa!

Rafael Nadal: I don’t know if we can talk about a real injury

(Reuters) – Top seed Rafael Nadal withdrew from the Paris Masters shortly before his opening match against fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco on Wednesday, and as a result will lose the ATP No. 1 ranking to Novak Djokovic.

Rafa, who has not played since retiring injured in the US Open semifinals in September, cited an abdominal injury.

He said that he still feels fit to play, but doctors were concerned enough about the abdomen problem could become progressively worse if he was to play in Paris this week.

I decided I’m happy to be here and it has been a positive few days for my mental part too to be here again practicing with the guys. I enjoy that and I feel myself competitive but… I just can follow the recommendations of the doctor. I can’t go against that, in my opinion today especially before the tournament has started.

I don’t know if we can talk about a real injury. I can talk about a pain that bothers me overtime that I serve. It will not be fair to say it’s a real injury today but what is sure that if I continue then it will be a real injury.

Our champ needed to beat Verdasco to hold Djokovic at bay, but the Serb will now return to the No. 1 spot regardless of how far he goes in Paris.

Emotional Rafa recounts devastation caused by deadly floods

(AP) – His eyes saddened and his voice marked with pain, Rafael Nadal spoke about the devastation caused by the deadly flooding on the Spanish island of Mallorca.

A torrential rainstorm on Oct. 9 caused flash flooding that left a trail of piled vehicles and damaged infrastructure from surges of water and mud, and killed 13 people. A vehicle carrying a 5-year-old boy and his mother was dragged away by a river of water and mud, claiming both of their lives.

Rafa, who is from Mallorca, knew some of the victims.

“The mother and the son, I know them. They are cousins of one of my best friends. So I lived the situation from very inside and I really saw the drama of all these people looking for the kid,” Rafa said Sunday in Paris, his words measured and his voice tinged with grief. “That’s part of this life and is a very unlucky situation that is almost impossible to recover from.”

Some parts of the island received up to 23 centimeters (nine inches) of rainfall in around four hours, more than one third of the area’s average annual amount.

“The disaster has been just like 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) away from where I live. I was at home and the rain never stopped,” Rafa said. “It was terrible all the things that happened in the village next to my house, and not only one, a few villages — but especially Sant Llorenc.”

A strong current of water and mud buried cars and pulled up trees on its way through the streets of the town of 8,000. Swamped streets and piles of overturned cars, some of them along the guardrails of a major road, were a common sight in Sant Llorenc. There were also victims in Arta, a nearby town, and in the coastal village of S’illot.

Rafa described the huge sense of loss felt within the close-knit community.

“If you were not there, you can’t imagine how the things were inside that village. I have a lot of family there in the village,” Rafa said. “The family from my mother, my grandmother, sisters and all the family from that side are from there. So I have a big connection with all of them.”

Rafa helped residents to clear mud from their houses in Sant Llorenc and his tennis academy on the island offered shelter to people affected by the floods. He wants to continue offering his support. Rafa, who is making his comeback from a knee injury to play at the Paris Masters, said an exhibition event will be held in Mallorca in December to help the people of Sant Llorenc.

“In some way, the only thing that we can do is just try to support them in terms of try to help them to recover all the things that they lost. (For) human losses, there’s nothing to do,” Rafa said. “We are trying to create something to (raise) some money for the people that lost everything in terms of material values, because people who lost life (there) is nothing to do. Things are so sad.”

ATP World Tour Awards: Vote for Rafa

During the ATP World Tour Finals, which will be held at The O2 in London from 11-18 November, the ATP will announce the winners of the 2018 ATP World Tour Awards.

It has been an impressive year for our champ as he claimed his 11th French Open title as well as Masters trophies in Monte-Carlo, Italy and Canada. He also won the Barcelona Open in May.

Vote for Player of the Year voted by fans here. Voting ends on Friday, November 2.

Despite being injured, Rafa is still is on top of the ATP Rankings and ATP Race List and holds a 45-4 match record in 2018.