Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal has pulled out of a planned July 14 charity exhibition match in this capital against world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, saying knee tendonitis will sideline him for two weeks.
"I want to apologize to everyone, especially to the fans who had already bought lots of tickets for such a great cause, but unfortunately we won't be able to play the 'Alma Nadal' exhibition in Madrid, in (Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu Stadium) on July 14," Nadal said in a statement.
"Doctors have been looking at my knee and they tell me I have tendonitis in the rotulian tendon and that I have to rest for 15 days, which makes it impossible for me to play Novak Djokovic as planned and announced," the statement said.
"I was with the doctors on Monday and I began treatment with the goal of being in condition to play the London Olympics and once again represent Spain," Nadal said.
The world No. 2 recently capped off another stellar clay-court season by winning a record seventh French Open and 11th Grand Slam title overall, but that triumph was followed by a stunning second-round loss at Wimbledon to 100th-ranked Czech Lukas Rosol.
The Spaniard said in the statement that he will take a mini-vacation while recovering and resume training in two weeks.
Real Madrid also announced on its Web site that the exhibition had been suspended and quoted the player's mother and president of the Rafa Nadal Foundation, Ana Maria Parera, as saying: "We're very sorry not to meet the expectations of so many thousands of people who had bought tickets to date."
Parera also expressed thanks for the "unconditional support of the public and sponsors, who from the very first day have given their all for this charity match to support the Realmadrid Foundation and the Rafa Nadal Foundation." EFE