Nadal to return in Indian wells, likely to miss Doha ATP 250

22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal has cast doubt on his place at the ATP 250 tournament in Doha which runs between February 19 and 24

New Delhi, Feb 14 (IANS) 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal has cast doubt on his place at the ATP 250 tournament in Doha which runs between February 19 and 24. The Spaniard looks set to make a “last-minute” decision on his participation in the tournament but is fully expecting to compete at Indian Wells next month.

However, the 22-time Grand Slam champion remains hopeful of competing at the ATP 1000 Indian Wells hard-court tournament, which takes place between March 3 and 17.

“I have had some discomfort in recent weeks and I am a little bit on the limit,” Nadal said to Spanish media, Relevo. “At this point, every blow I take, every injury, is a setback, not only in tennis and physically but also mentally.

“I trust 100% to be in Indian Wells, it is a very special tournament for me. I don’t know if it will be the last time I am going to play it, so I would like to be in Indian Wells, for sure.

“I would love to be in Doha, but I will see the decision for Doha more at the last minute. I will travel to Indian Wells if there is nothing wrong, for sure.

“My priority goal, which is what I said from the beginning, is to get to the clay season as healthy as possible. I want to try to give myself the option to enjoy the clay season.”

After missing a year of action due to a hip flexor issue, the 37-year-old returned to action at the Brisbane Open last month, but Jordan Thompson defeated him in three sets.

There were then expectations that Nadal would play in the Australian Open this year, but after losing to Thompson, he declared himself out of the competition due to a “micro tear” in his hip.

–IANS/hs/

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