Fever-Tree Championships: Rafael Nadal withdraws from Queen’s Club event

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Fever-Tree Championships: Rafael Nadal withdraws from Queen’s Club event
Rafael Nadal last played at the Queen’s Club in 2015, when he lost in the first round to Alexandr Dolgopolov
2018 Fever-Tree Championships on the BBC
Venue: Queen’s Club, London Dates: 18-24 June
Coverage: Watch live on BBC Two, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, Connected TVs, the BBC Sport website and app.

World number one Rafael Nadal has apologised for having to withdraw from next week’s Fever-Tree Championships at the Queen’s Club in London.

Nadal won his 11th French Open title on Sunday and said he needed to rest before next month’s Wimbledon.

“I have spoken to my doctors and need to listen to what my body is telling me,” the 32-year-old Spaniard said.

“I would like to say sorry to the tournament organisers and the fans that were hoping to see me play.”

Nadal won the Queen’s Club title 10 years ago, but his last appearance at the tournament was in 2015, when he lost in the opening round to Russia’s Alexandr Dolgopolov.

“Queen’s is a great event, I have happy memories of winning the title in 2008 and I wanted to come back this year,” added Nadal. “But it has been a very long clay-court season for me with great results.”

The Fever-Tree Championships start on 18 June and will be covered throughout by BBC television, radio and online.

Earlier this week, Novak Djokovic announced he would play at the Queen’s Club for the first time in eight years.

The former world number one had said he may skip the grass-court season after losing in the French Open quarter-finals to Marco Cecchinato.

But the 12-time Grand Slam champion has now accepted a late wildcard for Queen’s and said it would be “great preparation for Wimbledon”, which begins on 2 July.

Analysis

Russell Fuller, BBC tennis correspondent

Nadal won 26 of his 27 clay-court matches this year, having missed the whole of February and March to rest a leg injury.

He very much believes he can add another Wimbledon title to his haul of 17 Grand Slams, and clearly thinks his hopes will be best served by not rushing back into competition.

And as he remarked in Paris – at the ripe old age of 32 – the transition from clay to grass is not quite as straightforward as it used to be.

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