Rafael Nadal defended after injury decision that could ’cause problems’

Australian Open: Stefanos Tsitsipas reacts to victory over Nadal

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Rafael Nadal has been defended after his decision to withdraw from the Rotterdam Open this week. The tournament director and former Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek says Nadal made the right decision for himself to prevent further fitness problems. The Spaniard suffered from a back injury during the recent Australian Open and the issue caused him to pull out of action this week.

Nadal fought through the pain before losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarter-final in Melbourne.

The 20-time Grand Slam singles champion claimed the pain had decreased as the tournament got to the latter stages.

However, he did not recover in time to participate in Rotterdam.

Krajicek was not surprised by Nadal’s withdrawal and says there is a fine line where players decide if they are fit enough to play.

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“I saw Rafael Nadal play at the Australian Open and there he made a good impression, but I also realised that he was probably playing with painkillers,” Krajicek told NU.nl.

“I did not assume that he would withdraw [from Rotterdam], but you know it can happen.

“A top tennis player is a kind of Formula 1 car. It is so fine-tuned.

“If something does not run completely smoothly, then that causes problems. This is part of top sport, so it is no different.”

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Nadal explained his decision to withdraw from the tournament on Twitter last week.

“It is with great sadness that I have to forfeit from Rotterdam,” Nadal tweeted.

“As most of the fans know, I suffered some back problems in Australia that started in Adelaide and continued during Melbourne.

“We found a temporary solution that allowed me to play without pain in the second week of the tournament.

“Once I got back to Spain I visited my doctor and together with my team they’ve advised not to play this upcoming week.

“I was really looking forward to coming back to Rotterdam and the Netherlands since it’s been a while since I played there. This was the perfect year for my calendar.

“I hope to come back and play there soon. All the best to the tournament, always a top class event.”

Nadal has also pulled out of the tournament in Acapulco, Mexico later this month due to his injury.

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