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Rafael Nadal withdraws from Miami Open to 'get ready for the clay season'

Rafael Nadal pain Australian Open

Rafael Nadal will not play again until the European clay court season after announcing he has withdrawn from the Miami Open.

Nadal has been struggling with a back injury since the start of the year, although this is far from unexpected as it mirrors his decision last year to skip the US Open to prepare for the clay season instead.

That decision proved to be a very good one, with Nadal more dominant than ever at Roland Garros, and he will be hoping for a similar result this time too.

"Sad to announce that I won’t be playing in Miami, a city that I love," Nadal said on social media.

"I need to fully recover and get ready for the clay court season in Europe.

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"Special message to my fans in the US and in particular to the great Spanish speaking community FL who always give me a great support!"

Nadal initially injured his back in Australia in February, leaving him unable to play any part in Spain's ATP Cup campaign.

He was able to find temporary solutions during the Australian Open, although uncharacteristically lost a two-set lead over Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarterfinals before being eliminated.

Since then, he has also pulled out of Rotterdam, Acapulco, and rejected a Dubai wild card.

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