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Page last updated at 18:42 GMT, Monday, 19 April 2010 19:42 UK

Resting Rafael Nadal decides to miss Barcelona Open

Rafael Nadal
Nadal ended his 11-month wait for a title with yet another success in Monte Carlo

World number three Rafael Nadal has chosen not to defend his Barcelona Open crown this week as he recuperates from his Monte Carlo Masters triumph.

Nadal, who has been troubled by knee injuries, was expected to attempt to win his sixth Barcelona title in a row.

"After Monte Carlo my body is asking me to rest. I feel really bad about this - it is my club and my event," said the 23-year-old.

"I've said several times that the clay season calendar is poorly structured."

Nadal's criticism of the timing of events in men's tennis has been a familiar refrain, with knee injuries forcing him to miss the entire grass court season last year.

"I feel bad not playing in Barcelona, more than any another tournament," he said.

"I want to thank members and fans in advance for their understanding."

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Barcelona Open tournament director Albert Costa said: "We wish Rafa the best of luck. We know it is a measured decision and that it will have been tough to take.

"The player has to know when to listen to his body."

The Spaniard was in imperious form in Monte Carlo final, with Fernando Verdasco - whom he thrashed 6-0 6-1 in the final, proclaiming him as unbeatable.

With the second major of the season, the French Open, beginning at Roland Garros on 23 May, Nadal will be seeking to atone for his shock fourth-round defeat by Sweden's Robin Soderling in last year's competition.

Czech sixth-seed Tomas Berdych, Juan Martin del Potro and David Nalbandian have also pulled out of the event.



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see also
Brilliant Nadal wins Monte Carlo
18 Apr 10 |  Tennis
Nadal regains Rome Masters title
03 May 09 |  Tennis


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