'We have to enjoy Rafael Nadal while...', says former Top 5

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'We have to enjoy Rafael Nadal while...', says former Top 5

Miami Masters 1000 loses another big shot. After Roger Federer's forfeit, Rafael Nadal's also arrived. A little less than a week before the start of the hard court tournament in Florida, the Spanish tennis player officially gave up: "I'm sorry to announce that I won't be in Miami, a city I love.

I need to recover and prepare for the clay season in Europe - he wrote on his social accounts - about him. A special greeting to all my fans in the United States and in particular to the Hispanic community in Florida which has always made me feel a great cheer."

Rafael Nadal will compete at the 2021 Barcelona Open, which takes place from 17 to 25 April this year. The tournament is held at the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona-189, where the Centre Court is named after the 20-time Grand Slam winner.

This year will mark Nadal's 16th appearance at the tournament, which he has won 11 times so far. Tournament Director David Ferrer, who is also a former World No. 3, recently expressed his delight at the presence of his compatriot in the 2021 edition.

Ferrer on Rafael Nadal

"Rafael Nadal's presence in Barcelona is very important for the tournament and it will be even more so after the cancellation of last year's edition," David Ferrer said. "What Rafael Nadal has done throughout his career is something amazing and unique," Ferrer added.

"We must explain to all the fans that what we have seen with this player is not going to be repeated. Rafa is a legend of this sport and we have to enjoy him while we can." The Spaniard will return to his base, Madrid, to wage his third straight clay-court campaign from May 2 to May 9.

He will then fly off to Rome to play the prestigious Italian Open, which will kick off on May 9 and culminate on May 16. The series of build-up events and the matches therein will have given the 34-year-old Nadal enough momentum going into the French Open, which gets underway on May 23.

And, by June 6, which is the closing date at Roland-Garros, the tennis world will have known if all the build-up action translated into a happy culmination for the Spaniard. Nadal will also be keen on picking up some valuable ranking points during the clay-court swing to regain the second spot in the singles rankings.

Russian tennis star Daniil Medvedev’s final appearance at the Australian Open and his run of wins from last year, which saw him pick the prestigious Rolex Paris Masters and the Nitto ATP Finals titles back-to-back, lifted him to number 2 in the ranking, with the Spaniard dropping to third.