• ATP Tour

Nadal may skip Indian Wells and Miami

ESPN staff
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Rafael Nadal will limit himself to clay court tournaments between now and the French Open © Getty Images
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Rafael Nadal has opted to miss the first Masters 1000 events of the season in Indian Wells and Miami as his troubles with a persistent knee injury continue, according to a report in Marca.

The 11-time grand slam champion, who plays the third tournament of his comeback after seven months on the sidelines in Acapulco this week, has decided to play only on clay courts between now and the French Open in May, according to Spanish sports daily Marca.

Nadal reached the final of the VTR Open in Chile and won the Brasil Open in Sao Paulo earlier in February, but admitted that the tendinitis in his left knee was still causing him discomfort.

"It's better and I've been able to compete but it's still bothering me," he said on his arrival in Mexico.

"It's better on some days and worse on others, which isn't ideal for someone like me, because my idea of competing is based on giving it all at all times."

Nadal has been a vocal critic of the number of hard court tournaments on the ATP tournament calendar, blaming the courts for the high level of wear and tear they subject on players' bodies.

If the report in Marca is confirmed, the world No. 5 will take a break after the South American swing ahead of the Monte Carlo Masters in April, where he is bidding to win a record ninth consecutive title, before further Masters events in Madrid and Rome in the run-up to the French Open, which begins at Roland Garros in Paris on May 26.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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