Rafael Nadal will not be playing Acapulco this year due to his appearance fee being deemed too high, says tournament director Raul Zurutuza.
Nadal has featured in the Mexican event in three of the last four years, and only missed out in 2018 due to injury.
However, with costs rising due to having to run a bio-secure ‘bubble,’ coupled with the loss of ticket revenue, the world number two has been deemed too expensive to pay his reported $500,000-$1,000,000 appearance fee.
“The relationship with Carlos Costa (Nadal’s agent) is super good and things were very open, the reality is that there are no funds to pay [Nadal],” Zurutuza told Excelsior.
“Our budget for this year is super-mega limited, so we decided to invest that money in bringing who we could bring,” he commented.
Despite Nadal not making his usual appearance, Acapulco will not be short on big names, with Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and Diego Schwartzman currently scheduled to play.
“We already had a contract signed with Zverev and it was more expensive to cancel it than to pay him,” Zurutuza added.
“And the other players, the four or five that we invited with an appearance fee have put the batteries… their financial demands are substantially lower than what they normally do.”
It is commonplace for the top players in the world to charge appearance fees, with most tournaments agreeing to pay their top three seeds to appear.
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