Nadal turns down pre-Open wild card offers

Nadal turns down pre-Open wild card offers
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Published January 9th, 2015 - 20:18 GMT via

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Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal will remain in the Gulf for a few days next week in hopes of whipping his tennis into shape, with the Spaniard turning down wild card entries for p-Australian Open ATP events in Sydney and Auckland.

Nadal lost in the Doha ATP first round this week to German journeyman Michael Berrer, but is playing doubles in his first official tournament of the 2015 season with good friend Juan Monaco.

Both Southern hemisphere events announced they would grant world number three Nadal free entry into their tournaments - but Nadal has knocked them both back.

"I'm a guy who listens and tries to do the things that the people believe that are better for me, but Auckland or Sydney for me today is not in my mind," said Nadal.

Nadal has twice played Auckland - albeit in his younger days - reaching the final 11 years ago and losing in the first round the following January.

"While we are naturally disappointed, I am very proud of our efforts over the last 36 hours," said New Zealand tournament director Karl Budge. "We psented an outstanding case to Rafa.

"It is a great sign for how far the tournaments have grown that there is disappointment we have not been able to pull this off. We believe we are now in a position where these sorts of players are a real possibility, and we remain optimistic of chasing such players in 2016."

Budge had also come up short in trying to attract Andy Murray across the Tasman for the upcoming edition, with the Scot playing the Hopman Cup in Perth and training privately next week in Melbourne Park for the January 19 start of the Australian Open.

Auckland has been a happy hunting ground for Spaniards over the years, with David Ferrer winning three of the last four editions.

Ferrer told local media that he is optimistic that his famed compatriot can make a comeback after a season on injuries and an appendix removal.

"It's only one month after Rafa's surgeries. We are beginning the season, and what happened in Abu Dhabi and Doha is not important. Rafael sure is going to be good in the Australian Open.

"I saw the match, and he began playing very well, so I am sure that he will be strong the next couple of weeks."

© 2014 dpa GmbH

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