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Nadal Withdraws From Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Rafael Nadal announced his withdrawal from next week’s Copa Claro in Buenos Aires, with a stomach virus further delaying his recovery from a back injury suffered during the Australian Open final.

"Due to the back injury, I haven’t been able to practise since I came back from Australia," the World No. 1 said in a video message Thursday. "I had the intention to practise today but it all has been delayed due to a stomach virus that I have.

"We are only four days away from the beginning of the tournament, and without having trained a single day on court after Australia and with the stomach problem I am suffering, it makes it impossible for me to arrive with the adequate preparation to compete in such an important and demanding tournament like Buenos Aires.

"I am very sorry I have to take this sad decision. I feel sorry for all the fans, tournament organisers who had invited me and showed interest for me to be there and, especially for me, I was really looking forward to come back to Buenos Aires and to a country which I love very much like Argentina. I hope to return soon."

Nadal was set to make his first appearance since 2005, when he reached the quarter-finals on his Buenos Aires debut.

The 27-year-old Spaniard is scheduled to return to the courts at the inaugural Rio Open, Brazil’s first ATP World Tour 500 tournament, which begins on 17 February.

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©Jim Rydell

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