INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from next week’s Sony Open in Miami, the tournament confirmed. It’s a particularly tough hit to the men’s tournament, given Roger Federer’s earlier decision to skip the Masters 1000 tournament as well. Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray will be the top two seeds.
“I’m very sorry for the organization of the tournament and I’m very sorry for the fans, but we never thought we’d be able to play all matches possible since I came back,” Nadal told reporters after winning the BNP Paribas Open final on Sunday. “The doctors recommend me to be back home for a few weeks and rest a little bit and keep practicing the right way. I need more power on the left leg quadriceps, so I need to keep working hard. The competition is hard for the body, so after four fantastic weeks I can’t go to Miami. I need to prepare and rest for the next one.”
Nadal’s withdrawal isn’t a surprise, given some of his comments this week. He’s never won in Miami, and after a strong week in the California desert, he probably doesn’t want to put his body through the rigors of another hard-court tournament before European clay season begins in April.
“We are disappointed to hear the news that Rafael Nadal will not be competing in Miami this year, especially given his strong results since his return to the tour,” tournament director Adam Barrett said in a statement. “He is a tremendous ambassador for the game and has thousands of adoring fans here in South Florida. We wish him well and hope to see him back in Miami next year.”
Samantha Stosur, who withdrew from her quarterfinal at the BNP Paribas Open with a right calf injury, has also pulled out of the Sony Open.