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Rafael Nadal Withdraws from 2022 Miami Open Ahead of 1st Indian Wells Match

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVMarch 12, 2022

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Rafael Nadal pulled out of the upcoming Miami Open tournament Saturday, according to Ben Rothenberg of Racquet Magazine.

Rothenberg said Nadal made the decision after practicing for his opening match at the Indian Wells Masters on Saturday morning.

Nadal is still part of the field in Indian Wells, California, and is set to face American Sebastian Korda in the round of 64 on Saturday afternoon.

The Miami Open will emanate from Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, and run from March 21 through April 3.

Nadal, who is ranked fourth in the ATP Tour rankings, is off to a red-hot start this season with a perfect 15-0 record.

That includes winning the Australian Open, as well as the Melbourne Summer Set and Mexican Open titles.

By beating Daniil Medvedev in the Aussie Open final, Rafa won his first Grand Slam title since 2020 and his first Australian Open title since 2009. He also set the all-time record for career Grand Slam singles titles by a man during the Open era with 21.

The 35-year-old is looking to win his fourth Indian Wells tournament, with the last title in 2013.

Success has eluded Nadal at the Miami Open, though, as it is one of the biggest tournaments he has never won.

Rafa reached the final in 2005, 2008, 2011, 2014 and 2017 but fell short each time.

Pulling out of the Miami Open may be Nadal's way of preserving and preparing himself for clay-court season ahead of the French Open, which starts May 22.

Nadal is the greatest clay-court player of all time, as evidenced by his 13 career French Open titles.

Clay-court season will get underway with the Monte Carlo Masters starting April 9.

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