Rafa withdraws from Abu Dhabi

Photo by Beth Wilson

Photo by Beth Wilson

We have to wait a bit longer

Not the best news to wake up to on Christmas morning as Rafa has announced via Facebook that he will not be playing in Abu Dhabi due to a stomach virus. I’m sad he won’t be playing, but just take this as further evidence that he’s being very prudent and cautious about his return. Playing while ill could open him up to further injuries. Plus the travel and physical effort negatively impacts how much energy his body can devote to fighting the virus. Here is the full text of his announcement:

Lamento mucho no poder competir este año en Abu Dhabi. Todo estaba preparado y tengo muchas ganas de volver a la competición pero los médicos me han prohibido competir en Abu Dhabi por una infección estomacal que me ha producido fiebre.

En Abu Dhabi siempre me han tratado muy bien y esta es la primera vez que no puedo competir en ese torneo. Mi recuperación ha ido bien, mis rodillas se encuentran mejor y como digo tenía muchas ganas de volver a la competición. Lo siento por mis fans en los Emiratos y en todo el mundo. Espero poder estar allí el año que viene.

I am very disappointed that I will not be able to compete this year in Abu Dhabi. I was really excited about returning to play and I always have a wonderful experience at the event and this is the first time I will miss the tournament.

My rehab has gone well, my knee feels good and I was looking forward to competing. Unfortunately doctors have informed me that my body needs to rest in order to fight this stomach virus. I would like to say sorry to all my fans in the United Arab Emirates and around the world, but I hope to play and win in Abu Dhabi again next year.

Take care of yourself, Rafa. We’ve waited this long, we can hold out a bit longer.

20 Responses

  1. robert says:

    Reportedly, that winter bug was troubling Rafa earlier on and he apparently needs more time to recover. It was mentioned in this article 3 days ago:

    “..Nadal, que durante las últimas semanas ha padecido un virus estomacal y un episodio de fiebre que han alterado el ritmo normal de sus entrenamientos
    ..who in recent weeks has had a stomach virus and a bout of fever that have altered the normal pace of his practice sessions.”

    And Neil Harman (who was in Mallorca on Dec. 20 to interview Rafa for The Times), tweeted 2 hours ago:

    “He wasn’t feeling well last week so not surprised @RafaelNadal has withdrawn from Abu Dhabi. Not sure Doha is a given either.”

  2. Ramara says:

    Sorry Rafa’s sick for Christmas, but I wasn’t happy with the idea of playing Andy Murray in his first match back anyway.

  3. Eva says:

    Take all the time you need Rafa to feel perfectly healthy! There is no need to rush things…your fans will be happy to see you on court whenever you feel ready!

  4. JayDee50 says:

    Oh no, I don’t believe it. Poor Rafa, if it’s not one thing it’s another, he deserves a break. I’m so disappointed for him. Hope he makes a speedy recovery from the virus, they can be nasty things.

  5. Isabelle says:

    Well that sucks, but in the scheme of things it doesn’t really even tweek the needle on the scale. I am so glad he isn’t playing and setting himself up for possible protracted illness into the AO. We can wait for a healthy Rafa, no?

  6. MisionNadal says:


    Join Us to say Rafa we all are with him in his back!
    Enter in http://www.misionnadal.com and send your personal message of encouragement to Rafa!

  7. Jummy says:

    We sure can wait….It is a definite YES!
    Get well soon, Rafa.

  8. Sharon/London says:

    He is not having much luck is he? Still would rather wait a little longer to see him play than Rafa take any risks with his health.

  9. patzin says:

    Irony of sorts, Tennis Channel playing his SF match from AO 2012 v Fed right now. Sending all good wishes for his return to health; and the Tour when he feels better.

  10. kyukee says:

    well that is a bummer…not a good way to start the new year

  11. Tina says:

    Wish you the very best, Rafa, and hopefully you will get better soon.

  12. Ruthie says:

    Hope you will feel better very soon Rafa & God bless.

  13. jitendra says:

    Get well soon hope to c u play again ASAP not good to c tournaments with out u

  14. Kathy says:

    We are disappointed and will miss him so much at this event we have been looking forward to, but his health is most important. I would never want to see him play when he is ill, although we have sometimes seen it in the past mid-tournament. So, good wishes for health in the New Year to Rafa and all his fans and hope we will see him in January. I am not really sure he is ready for hard court (Aussie Open) but his knee will tell him what to do.
    And to you, Miri, thanks for all you do and wishing you health in this coming New Year.

  15. Nancy says:

    Gosh can’t believe that Rafa has pulled out of the Australian Open. I understand why he would, especially if he feels he hasn’t enough prep time to go into a Grand Slam, but I was SOOOO looking forward to seeing him play again! (ugh!)

    • Emma R says:

      I know. It all sounds very sensible and logical, but I can’t help girding myself not to let out more howls of frustration every time I open Facebook.

      No point buggering himself up before he’s even started though. I remember in 2009 when he came back after the lay off he immediately got the abdominal tear. Think he is right to be cautious and only come back when he is good and ready.

  16. JayDee50 says:

    We need to remember this: he DID say that Abu Dhabi, Doha and the Australian Open were NOT his priorities. I’m positive we’ll see him back on the clay courts, knees and health permitting. And I so can’t wait!