Rotterdam tournament director Richard Krajicek says he feared Rafael Nadal may withdraw after watching him at the Australian Open.
Nadal went into the first Grand Slam of the season with a back injury that kept him out of Spain’s entire ATP Cup campaign.
He managed to battle his way to the quarterfinals in Melbourne, although he revealed he needed to adjust his serving motion to be able to cope with the pain.
He has since pulled out of both Acapulco and Rotterdam, but former Wimbledon champion Krajicek says he completely understands why Nadal had to do it.
“I saw Rafael Nadal play at the Australian Open and there he made a good impression, but I also realised that he was probably playing with painkillers,” Krajicek told NU.nl.
“I did not assume that he would withdraw [from Rotterdam], but you know it can happen.”
“A top tennis player is a kind of Formula 1 car. It is so fine-tuned.
“If something does not run completely smoothly, then that causes problems. This is part of top sport, so it is no different.”
Nadal is currently down to compete at the Miami Open at the end of March, although it seems likely he will skip it to focus on his clay season preparations and fitness instead.
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