Rafael Nadal withdraws from Laver Cup due to ‘personal reasons’
Serena Williams’s recent loss to Caroline Wozniacki in the finals and Federer’s injury woes have both left the women’s game in turmoil, while Rory McIlroy has been unable to play since injuring his left shoulder.
The men’s event saw a record crowd of 5,939 packed into the rain-swept Arthur Ashe Stadium for the first-ever men’s final, with Djokovic prevailing over a field that included Federer, Nadal, Murray, Djoo, Tsonga and Tsonga again.
And Nadal had to withdraw from the semi-finals through injury.
“Rafael Nadal says his left hand injury requires’surgery’ to be repaired within the next week,” said a statement. “It is with great sadness that I inform you that he will withdraw from the final in his home city of Miami.
“The team and I can only hope for a speedy recovery.”
The Spaniard had been due to play against Andy Murray, who had been in great form, and beat him 6-3 7-6 (1) 4-6 7-6 (3), 3-6 3-6 6-3 in a hard-fought battle that saw both players hit some of their most brutal shots of 2017.
Nadal has not played at a major finals since 2011, and has not won a tournament match since his defeat to Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open semi-finals last January.
In the meantime, Djokovic recovered from his first tournament defeat for two years and has since won three tournaments.
A victory in his home city would have seen Nadal’s record against Rafael break at two.
“As the last big test before the clay season, it’s very important we win this one,