Stomach bug knocks Nadal out of Australian Open

  • Associated Press
  • Friday, December 28, 2012 11:15am
  • SportsSports

MADRID — Rafael Nadal will miss the Australian Open because of a stomach virus, further delaying his comeback after being sidelined since June.

The Australian Open, the year’s first Grand Slam tournament, begins Jan. 14. The virus kept Nadal from making his return at Abu Dhabi this week.

The Spaniard said Friday his withdrawals had nothing to do with the tendinitis in his left knee, which forced him to take a break last summer following his second-round loss at Wimbledon to then 100th-ranked Lukas Rosol. Nadal also missed the London Olympics.

“My knee is much better and the rehabilitation process has gone well as predicted by the doctors,” Nadal said in a statement. “But this virus didn’t allow me to practice this past week, and therefore I am sorry to announce that I will not play in Doha and the Australian Open.”

The former No. 1 player hopes to return at Acapulco, Mexico, starting Feb. 27. However, he did not rule out playing an earlier tournament if his recovery went well enough.

“I always said that my return to competition will be when I am in the right conditions to play,” he said. “And after all this time away from the courts, I’d rather not accelerate the comeback and prefer to do things well.”

Nadal, ranked No. 4, won the Australian Open in 2009. Last year, he lost to top-ranked Novak Djokovic in a title match that lasted 5 hours, 53 minutes, the longest recorded Grand Slam final.

Nadal’s doctor, Angel Ruiz-Cotorro, said in the statement that Nadal needed at least a week to recover from the virus, ruling him out for the Qatar Open set to start on Jan. 2.

And Nadal’s coach and uncle, Toni Nadal, explained that Nadal had opted against making his return at Melbourne since he wouldn’t be physically fit to take on its five-set format.

“We consider not appropriate to play the Australian Open since we will not have enough preparation for a greater competition which is a Grand Slam tournament,” said Toni Nadal in the statement. “It is simply not conceivable that his first event is a best of five sets event, he wouldn’t be ready for that.”

Nadal’s knee injury prevented the 11-time Grand Slam winner from defending his Olympic singles gold at last summer’s London Games, where he was supposed to be Spain’s flag bearer in the opening ceremony.

He also had to pull out of the U.S. Open and Spain’s Davis Cup final against the Czech Republic, and his teammates lost without him.

More in Sports

Seattle falls short in 34-31 home loss to Atlanta

Russell Wilson rallied the Seahawks late, but it wasn’t enough to avoid a defeat.

Wesco and Cascade Conference athletes honored

Check out the 2017 all-conference teams.

Seahawks’ postseason hopes dealt a blow by loss to Falcons

Seattle will likely spend the rest of the regular season fighting for a playoff berth.

Seahawks’ battered secondary holds up against reigning MVP

Seattle’s secondary corrected itself despite stumbling early in the game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Seahawks’ grades from Monday’s 34-31 loss to Atlanta

Here’s how the Seattle Seahawks graded out in their 34-31 loss to… Continue reading

Locals on the Central Washington University football team

Four starters for the 11-0 Wildcats, who host a playoff game Saturday, hail from Snohomish County.

Missouri’s Porter Jr. out for the season with a back injury

The star freshman — a former UW recruit — will need 3-4 months to recover from surgery

BLOG: Carter Hart wins Goaltender of the Week

Everett Silvertips goalie Carter Hart was named the Western Hockey League Goaltender… Continue reading

Washington to play role of spoiler in Apple Cup

UW can ruin WSU’s chances of a Pac-12 North title and earn its 10th win on Saturday.

Most Read