Rafael Nadal explains Miami withdrawal: 'I can not make drastic changes'

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Rafael Nadal explains Miami withdrawal: 'I can not make drastic changes'

Rafael Nadal has won 40 matches at the Miami Open, playing on a high level in Florida since 2005. Still, the Spaniard has never won the title at the season's second Masters 1000 event, losing all five finals between 2005-2017 and not playing at this event after his last title clash.

Rafa will not chase the first Miami Open crown in the next two weeks, deciding to skip the tournament and give himself more time to prepare for beloved clay. Speaking about Miami in Indian Wells, Nadal admitted he has already played too much tennis since the start of the year, winning all three tournaments and claiming 17 wins from as many encounters.

The Spaniard wants to take a little rest after Indian Wells and prepare for the clay swing without pushing his knees or foot to the limits.

Rafael Nadal will not play in Miami next week.

Nadal skipped the second part of the previous season due to a foot injury at Roland Garros, playing two matches in the rest of the year and hoping for a fresh start in 2022.

Heading to Melbourne with many question marks over his head, Rafa claimed a small ATP 250 event before conquering his second Australian Open and the record-breaking 21st Major crown. Nadal trailed 6-2, 7-6, 3-2, 40-0 in the final against Daniil Medvedev before performing an incredible comeback and delivering a 2-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 victory in five hours and 24 minutes.

Taking a couple of weeks off, Nadal returned to action in Acapulco and earned the fourth Mexico crown, beating Daniil Medvedev again and extending his winning streak to 15 matches. Nadal is through into the fourth round in Indian Wells following victories over Sebastian Korda and Daniel Evans.

"I did not play in Miami for the last couple of years. I'm almost 36, and I have played much more than expected at the beginning of the season. It's not good for my body to make quick transitions from one surface to another and play on clay straight after hard.

If I play Miami, I will not have time to rest, and the transition to clay will be quick. That would make me push hard right from the start, and that's not good for my knees. I have to make a soft transition and not embrace drastic changes as I did in the past.

That's why I decided to finish my hard-court swing in Indian Wells and use the next three weeks to adjust to the clay season," Rafael Nadal said.