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'I am not yet ready to play' - Rafael Nadal confirms he will not be playing Dubai

Rafael Nadal at Australian Open

Rafael Nadal has confirmed that he will not play in Dubai next week after speculation arose yesterday that he had made a last minute decision to join the tournament.

Nadal had originally stated that he was recovering from a back injury that bothered him through the Australian Open, and that was the reason for pulling out of the Acapulco tournament in mid-March.

However, word spread quickly on social media on Wednesday that Nadal had changed his plans and would be making surprise appearance in Dubai instead.

But Nadal himself put an end to the rumours with a tweet thanking the organisers for offering him a wild card but saying he's not yet ready to play.

"I would like to thank the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships for the wild card invitation sent to me," wrote Nadal.

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"We seriously thought about coming to play, but I don't think I am ready to play yet. Once again, thanks to the tournament's kind invitation and best of luck with the tournament," Rafael Nadal said.

"And special thanks to Tournament Director Salah Talak since I am aware of his efforts to ensure a smooth arrival to play Dubai during this unprecedented Coronavirus pandemic and difficult times for all."

Nadal, who dropped to third place in the ATP rankings last week, is expected now to wait until the clay season to make his return.

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