Rafael Nadal: 'It was really a pity, but the truth is that...'

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Rafael Nadal: 'It was really a pity, but the truth is that...'

20-time Major winner Rafael Nadal will skip the upcoming third edition of the ATP Cup in January. According to Spanish sites, Rafa will not lead his country in the ATP team event before the Australian Open, he needs more time to recover from a foot injury and make the right moves in the weeks leading up to the first Grand Slam of the season .

Nadal hasn't played for four months after retiring from Washington in early August, dealing with an injury and taking time off the court to fix it. Rafa will compete in Abu Dhabi from December 17 to 18 and will make his schedule for the first weeks of the season after estimating his performance.

Therefore, Nadal will skip the ATP Cup for the second year in a row, and will miss out in February this year due to a back injury. The inaugural ATP Cup took place between January 3-12, 2020 in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. The newly established ATP team event brought together 24 countries and some of the world's leading players in singles and doubles.

Nadal was among the top stars in the first event of the season, leading a strong Spanish team a couple of weeks after securing the Davis Cup Finals crown at home in Madrid. Spain faced Japan, Uruguay and Georgia in the group stage and overcame all three hurdles to advance to the quarterfinals.

Nadal scored four wins in six singles matches and scored 250 points. In the opening match, Rafa defeated Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-3, 7-5, struggling a bit in the second set before closing the deal without playing a decider. Nadal played better against Pablo Cuevas, knocking down the Uruguayan 6-2, 6-1 and prevailing over Yoshihito Nishioka 7-6, 6-4 to close out the group stage with three wins and send his country to the quarterfinals.

Rafael Nadal on the Davis Cup

Rafael Nadal was recently bestowed the Popular Award of Honor by Cadena COPE and during his interaction with the media, he spoke about his eventual return to action and the Spanish team's performance at the Davis Cup.

"Until things are 100% sure, I can't say much, in the end I don't know either. As I mentioned some weeks ago, my idea is to be in Abu Dhabi and play there on the 17th & 18th, and that's still my plan. However things are being analyzed week by week, as always, keeping in my mind that I want to return as early as possible, but above all I want to return being in good shape." Defending champions Spain were a little unlucky not to advance further in the Davis Cup, according to Nadal.

"A pity, after having won 3-0 & lost 1-2, which was something we could aim at at the beginning [of the competition]. We were much closer once Feli played such an amazing match, but chances went away. We were a bit unlucky, as with those scores there were many options to advance, but numbers weren't by our side. It was really a pity, but the truth is that the situation was really difficult."