Rafael Nadal withdraws from Laver Cup

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Rafael Nadal withdraws from Laver Cup
Rafael Nadal withdraws from Laver Cup

Team Europe will have to fight for the fifth consecutive Laver Cup title without a 22-time Major winner Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard has decided to withdraw following his only match on Friday night, not serving at his best and needing more time off the court to heal the injury.

Rafa has played only five singles matches after withdrawing ahead of the Wimbledon semi-final, struggling with the initial shot and making an early US Open exit. Nadal experienced an abdominal injury at the All England Club, leaving serve aside on the practice court and still reaching the semi-final following an epic win over Taylor Fritz.

The Spaniard revealed a seven-millimeter tear in his muscle and withdrew ahead of the Nick Kyrgios clash. Rafa skipped Montreal and suffered an early loss in Cincinnati to dark clouds over his US Open chances. Nadal had the opportunity to become world no.

1 after the US Open, but he lost in the fourth round to Frances Tiafoe in four sets.

Rafael Nadal will not play the Laver Cup on Saturday and Sunday.

Roger Federer wished to play alongside Rafa in his last career match at the Laver Cup in London, and the Spaniard was there to stand by him one more time.

Federer and Nadal played the final encounter of an opening day and faced Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe. Unlike in Prague 2017, two legends wasted a match point in a 4-6, 6-2, 11-9 loss in two hours and 13 minutes. Rafa struggled in his games more than the other three players, experiencing a break point at 4-4 in the opener.

Federer saved it, and he and Rafa broke Frances in the next one to clinch the opener 6-4 in 42 minutes. The Spaniard lost serve at 1-1 in the second set, and they pulled it back after Frances' double fault in game six. Rafa was in trouble again at 5-5, facing no less than six break points.

He and Roger saved them and wrapped it up with a service winner for a massive boost. Jack held after deuce in game 12 to introduce a tie break, and he and Frances claimed it 7-2 to improve their chances. Nadal took charge at the start of the match tie break before the red squad rattled off four straight points.

Federer sent Team Europe 65 up with an ace, and they stayed neck and neck in the following points. The legends fought back to 8-8 and earned a match point after taking the next one. The Swiss failed to seize it on his serve, and Frances fired a return winner for 10-9 and their first match point.

Sock landed a forehand down the line winner by Nadal to send his team over the top and send Roger into a well-deserved retirement.

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