Spokesman denies Nadal to skip tournaments

Feb. 26, 2013 at 3:25 PM
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ACAPULCO, Mexico, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- Rafael Nadal's camp is denying reports Tuesday the world No. 5-ranked tennis player will skip two ATP Masters tournaments next month.

It was reported that Nadal would miss the Masters tournaments in Indian Wells, Calif., on March 4-11 and the March 18-25 event in Miami because of ongoing issues with his right knee.

But Nadal's publicist Benito Perez-Barbadillo Jerez issued a posting Tuesday on Twitter that the report was based on speculation.

Nadal has said recently he would only play in clay-court events, including this week's Abierto Mexicano Tercel in Acapulco, Mexico, through the French Open. The Masters tournaments at Indian Wells and Miami are on hard courts.

Nadal was sidelined the second half of the 2012 schedule because of tendinitis in his right knee. He has played in two tournaments this year, finishing runner-up to Horacio Zeballos in Chile and winning the ATP stop in Sao Paulo. Both of those tournaments were on clay.

He says the knee is improving but he's going to be cautious with it.

"It's better and I've been able to compete but it's still bothering me," he said in Acapulco. "It's better on some days and worse on others, which isn't ideal for someone like me, because my idea of competing is based on giving it all at all times."

He said he will limit his play to clay courts through the French Open in May. Nadal has won the French Open each of the last three years. He's won seven French Open titles 2005-12. He missed the 2009 French Open because of a knee injury.

Nadal was a semifinalist at both Indian Wells and Miami last year.

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