Rafael Nadal will not play the Miami Masters 1000 (March 24-April 4) because he is not physically ready yet. "I am sad to announce that I will not play in Miami," wrote the Spaniard on Twitter. Roger Federer, winner of the last edition of the Florida tournament in 2019, had already announced his absence.
"I need to fully recover and be ready for the clay court season in Europe," added Nadal, world number 3, who has suffered from back pain since arriving in Australia in January, just weeks before the Open, where was beaten in the quarter-finals by Stefanos Tsitsipas after leading two sets to zero.
Nadal has since retired from Rotterdam and Acapulco and has given up on an invitation to Dubai. The European clay season begins on 5 April with the ATP 250 tournaments in Marbella and Cagliari, before the first big meeting on this surface, the Masters 1000 in Monte-Carlo (11-18 April).
Without Nadal, the Miami tournament loses another great protagonist, but it does not end here: Dominic Thiem was also canceled from the entry list of the first 1000 of the season (Indian Wells was canceled for the second year in a row due to the Coronavirus pandemic) and Nick Kyrgios.
The participation of number 1 Novak Djokovic remains in doubt, recovering from the muscle injury he accused in Melbourne. In an in-depth interview with Sportskeeda, Holger Rune opened up about feeling like a 'freak' in his childhood and how he first got attracted to tennis.
He also spoke at length about his family, his long-term ambitions, his idols - which include both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal - and his recent ATP debut.
Rune on Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal
"Rafael Nadal was my first idol.
I had posters of him everywhere in my room when I was 6. I was dressed as Nadal in all practices, with sleeveless shirts and bandana, and even played with Babolat (racket). Then I played in a tournament, I think I was 7, with foam balls.
And I came second and had a small trophy, whereas the winner had a big one. It hurt so much to lose that final, I refused to accept the trophy. And I was so angry, that I went home and took all the posters of Nadal down and said 'I only want to be No.
1' I asked if I could have Roger Federer up instead, because at the time he was No. 1 and Nadal No. 2. So Federer came up instead, and I watched all his matches and changed my racket and outfit. I think these players inspired so many young players like myself when I was little and hopefully, me and some of the other players on tour can inspire the younger generation as well.
As a kid you have idols, and they are, besides your passion for the sport, also the fuel for your drive to become better. When I was little, I could get very upset when missing a shot and my coach always told me, 'You are not Federer yet, and even he misses'
But they put up an example both in regards to the fight and the style and perfection, which indirectly become a goal to achieve for yourself" - Holger Rune stated.