Rafael Nadal: 'That's why I decided to stop after...'



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Rafael Nadal: 'That's why I decided to stop after...'

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic reached the title clash at the first Masters 1000 of the season, at Indian Wells 2007. The two youngsters battled through all their opponents to set up their second meeting on Tour and first in the final.

Novak had a remarkable start to the season, winning the title in Adelaide and losing to world number 1 Roger Federer in Melbourne and Dubai. Heading into Indian Wells, the Serbian defeated David Ferrer and Andy Murray to find himself in the first Masters 1000 final and break into the top-10.

Seeking the first major title of his young career, Novak suffered a 6-2, 7-5 loss to Rafa in one hour and 34 minutes, experiencing the second loss against the Spaniard in as many meetings. The more experienced player got off to a better start and closed out the opening set in style.

Novak raised his level in the second set and showed his quality against the world number 2. Nadal fended off three break chances in the fourth game of the second set and faced more trouble in games eight and ten. Novak made it to the deuces but was unable to go one step further and create break points.

Nadal kept his serve intact and grabbed a crucial break at 5-5 to take the lead. The Spaniard sealed the deal on his serve a few minutes later for the seventh Masters 1000 crown and the first in the desert. Djokovic was pleased with his run over the last ten days, playing well and matching Nadal's pace in the second set.

Nadal played four tournaments since the start of the year

Rafael Nadal shed light on the reasons for his withdrawal from the upcoming Miami Masters. The World No. 4 revealed that he made the decision considering the stress on his body in recent weeks.

"I haven't played Miami for the last couple of years. I'm almost 36. I played much more than what I expected at the beginning of the season. For my body, it is not good to have quick transitions from different surfaces," Nadal said.

"If I play Miami, I will not have time to rest and not time to make a swift transition to the clay." The 21-time Grand Slam champion claimed that by withdrawing from Miami, he would have three weeks to prepare for the start of his favorite clay season.

"I had to push very since the beginning, so that's dangerous for my foot, for my knees. I need to make that transition step by step," he said. "I cannot make drastic changes like I did in the past, so that's why I decided to stop after here and have three weeks before the clay court season starts for me."