Rafael Nadal has announced that he will be skipping the Miami Open in order to focus on the clay court season, with the outright Grand Slam record tally in his sights.
Nadal equalled Roger Federer's long-standing men's record of 20 majors with the French Open title in October. This year, Roland Garros will be played in its traditional time slot of late spring.
The Spaniard had a back complaint going into the Australian Open in February but battled through to the quarter-finals, where he lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas, who launched a fine comeback to recover from a two-set deficit.
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He has not featured since but was due to return to the court in Florida next month but has pulled out to focus on the clay court season.
"Sad to announce that I won’t be playing in Miami, a city that I love," the Spaniard tweeted.
"I need to fully recover and get ready for the clay court season in Europe.
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"Special message to my fans in the US and in particular to the great Spanish speaking community FL who always give me a great support!"
The clay swing kicks off in April and features Masters 1000 events in Monte-Carlo, Madrid and Spain, along with an ATP 500 event in Barcelona, which Nadal has won 11 times.
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