Rafael Nadal has revealed that he is not playing to play in next month’s Dubai Tennis Championships in the United Arab Emirate city of Dubai.
After winning the Capitala World Tennis Championship in the other well known United Arab Emirate city of Abu Dhabi, Nadal said he will rest rather than again travel to the Middle East. It was not revealed or known whether Dubai’s recent economic and credit turmoil prevented Dubai to not pony up their usual huge appearance fee to play in the event.
“I don’t think [I’ll play in Dubai],” said Nadal after defeating Robin Soderling in the final of the Abu Dhabi exhibition. “It depends if I have very bad results in Doha, Australia and Rotterdam [in the coming month], then maybe, but it’s not on my calendar.
Dubai was recently bailed out by the oil-rich Abu Dhabi emirate as it gave it a $10 billion lifeline to go with another $15 million earlier in the year. The capital infusion prevented what many economists said would have been a dramatic default that could have thrown the global economy into a tail spin. According to UBS, an addition $32 billion of debt repayments are due in the next three years. Morgan Stanley estimates that the Dubai’s debt to be as high as $108 billion.
“I didn’t stop at the end of last season,” said Nadal of his playing schedule. “I practiced for two-and-a-half weeks and I hope to have good tournaments [before Dubai] and then have three weeks off later. I have to rest a little bit and prepare for playing the American season and clay season because after that there is no chance to stop.”
Nadal also skipped the Dubai event in 2008 due to advice from his medial team. World No. 1 Roger Federer is scheduled to compete in the event. Last year’s event featured only Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray from the world’s top five players, with Djokovic winning the title over David Ferrer.
Nadal said he is sure he is making the correct decision by skipping the 17-year-old event that has risen in prominence in recent years.
“I don’t have a lot of chances to play less if I want to be at the top,” he said. “I don’t decide the calendar, it’s the ATP. I don’t have a lot of chances to choose where I’m going to play and what I’m going to play. This is my eighth year on tour and for the past five years I was one of the players who played the most matches – I didn’t have a lot of [injury] problems. Last year I had a few, but that’s normal if you consistently play at 100 per cent: the body sometimes says ‘stop’.