Optimistic reports that Rafael Nadal would be offered a late wild card for next week’s ATP event in Dubai were finally buried by the Spaniard himself.

The 34-year-old has been resting on his home island of Mallorca to heal a back niggle he picked up prior to last month’s Australian Open.

He confirmed that he will remain in place and won’t be going anywhere next week.

“I would like to thank the @DDFTennis for the wild card invitation sent to me,” the No. 2 posted. 

“We seriously thought about coming to play, but I don’t think I am ready to play yet.”

Nadal’s next tournament date is the Miami Open, a joint ATP-WTA event  which will be staged with reduced prize money in a stadium parking lot.

A minimum of a few hundred spectators will be allowed to buy tickets, but many of the match courts  will off limits to the sparse public

The wild west state Florida is bracing for a COVID resurgence with the American university spring break coming up; officials have been unwilling and unable to enforce any COVID mask regulations.


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