Rafael Nadal withdraws from Queen’s after 11th French title, saying ‘I need to listen to what my body tells me’

Rafael Nadal announces that he won't be competing at the Fever-Tree Championships at Queen's Club after winning his 11th French Open title

Marianne Bevis
By Marianne Bevis
Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal in clay-court action Photo: Marianne Bevis

Rafael Nadal has today announced that he is to withdraw from the Fever-Tree Championships, which start on Monday.

Nadal, who completed a Roland Garros-Queen’s-Wimbledon treble 10 years ago, had intended to return to try to do the same again as part of the strongest entry list in the tournament’s history.

His five Wimbledon final appearances all came after reaching the quarter-finals or better at The Queen’s Club, but after playing 27 matches on clay over the last two months and winning an 11th Roland Garros title at the weekend, he has decided that he needs time to recover, just as he did 12 months ago after a similar victory sweep through the clay season.

He said: “Queen’s is a great event. I have happy memories of winning the title in 2008 and I wanted to come back this year.

“But it has been a very long clay court season for me with great results. I would like to say sorry to the tournament organisers and most of all to the fans that were hoping to see me play, but I have spoken to my doctors and I need to listen to what my body is telling me.”

Tournament Director, Stephen Farrow said: “We are obviously disappointed that Rafa has decided that he is unable to play this year, but we wish him well and hope to see him on our courts in the future.

“At the same time, we are thrilled to have added Novak Djokovic to a line-up that already includes so many of the best players in the world.”

This week, three-time Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic took a late Fever-Tree Championships wild card and will play at The Queen’s Club for the first time in eight years.

He joins a field of players that includes five-time winner Andy Murray, who still hopes to return from hip surgery in time to play, US Open champions Juan Martin del Potro, Stan Wawrinka and Marin Cilic, the reigning ATP World Tour Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov, British No1 Kyle Edmund, and the exciting Nick Kyrgios and Denis Shapovalov.

Diego Schwartzman has also withdrawn with an abdominal injury.

The Championships begin on Monday 11th June, 2018. Tickets are available at https://www.lta.org.uk/major-events/fever-tree-championships/tickets/

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