ITF president: Nadal has serious physical problems
The International Tennis Federation says the world No 1 tennis player has delivered too much for the year and is tired.13 November 2008
SHANGHAI - World No 1 tennis player Rafael Nadal is suffering from serious physical problems, the president of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) said on Wednesday.
"Nadal has a very serious problem," Francesco Ricci Bitti told journalists at the Masters Cup tournament in Shanghai.
The Spanish player declined to take part in the season-ending event and had announced that he will not be at the Davis Cup final on 21 -23 November as he is suffering from knee tendinitis. According to reports, Nadal will require a further break of three to six months to get back to his best level.
"I already saw that he was tired at the (Olympic) Games, particularly after the great Olympic semi-final (against Novak Djokovic), one of the best matches this year. Nadal won because he is a great player and a great fighter. Nadal played the final at 70 percent (of his level), but that was enough," Ricci Bitti said.
"This year he has delivered a lot, he has delivered too much," the ITF president said of his friend.
Ricci Bitti added they even share the medical services of Spanish doctor Angel Ruiz Cotorro.
In 2008, Nadal reached the world No 1 spot previously held by Roger Federer, and won his fourth consecutive French Open, his first Wimbledon and the Olympic gold medal.
Still, the Italian noted the Davis Cup final where Spain is set to play against Argentina will not be affected drastically by the top player's absence.
"It would have been better if he were there, but it's no drama. The Davis Cup is very strong," Ricci Bitti said. "The Davis Cup competition is stronger than players, although Nadal is the number one and is very important."
"I am sorry because he is my friend, a great player and a great person who contributes very generously to the promotion of our sport," he added.
In Nadal's absence, an Argentine side led by David Nalbandian and in-form youngster Juan Martin del Potro is the favourite to lift its first "salad bowl," as the Davis Cup trophy is known.
"Now Argentina is the favourite, that is clear," Ricci Bitti said.
[dpa / Expatica]