Rafael Nadal withdraws from Laver Cup due to ‘personal reasons’
Rafael Nadal had been scheduled to play his fourth match in Laver Cup on Wednesday (February 11) against Marin Cilic, but withdrew due to personal reasons.
At 5am (HKT), the Italian news website La Gazzetta Dello Sport reported that Nadal had been forced to withdraw from the event with the following quotes by the Laver Cup organisers (with translation provided by the tournament’s spokesperson): “Rafael Nadal and his team informed us he was not able to play and asked for his dismissal. At present, we do not know the reason for his withdrawal. It would be a very bad for us, in fact.”
The tennis tournament and the player had recently been named in a report conducted by the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU).
Last Friday, Nadal announced he would leave a career that saw him reach the final of four Grand Slam events in addition to the Olympic gold medal, the Davis Cup and the US Open in the same year, making him the oldest Grand Slam singles champion.
Meanwhile, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) has announced its long-standing rules for the ATP. According to the rules, the player has one calendar year to vacate a tournament win. This is the first time since the 1990s that the ITF has allowed players to walk. The previous rule was just one year.
The first player to vacate a tour-level win was Pete Sampras, who took advantage of the rule after his win at the Australian Open in January 1997. He won another ATP title at the French Open before turning professional.
The first player to have his Tour-level win overturned was Andy Roddick in 2000, when he successfully challenged the decision and won the Tour Championships in St.Petersburg.
He was subsequently stripped of his title and banned from further tour activity until an appeal was made. Roddick was successful in winning the ATP’s Re-election Appeal, though he was barred from competing in ATP Tour events for two years.
Nadal has been a controversial figure since the early 2000s, when he was accused of rape, and subsequently admitted to an alleged dalliance with a married woman. He was later cleared of all charges in 2014, and became the most-crowned Tennis Champion of all time.