The Spaniard tennis star doesn’t seem to be blessed with Christmas fortune this holiday season.
Rafael Nadal was scheduled to make his long-awaited comeback at an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi Thursday, but he’s now stating a stomach virus will delay his return to competition.
The 26-year-old revealed Tuesday on his Facebook page that doctors ordered him to pull out when he was running a fever.
Nadal previously missed seven months of playing due to a tendinitis in his left knee.
Nadal stated “everything had been prepared” and he was looking forward to his return. However, doctors told him his body needed rest.
“Abu Dhabi has always treated me very well and this is the first time that I cannot compete in the tournament,” said Nadal. “My recovery has gone well, my knees are better, and I was eager to return to the competition. I’m sorry for my fans in the Emirates and throughout the world. I hope to be there in the coming year.”
The 11-time Grand Slam champion hasn’t played since June, when he lost to 100th-ranked Lukas Rosol in the second round at Wimbledon.
The Guardian is reporting that the tournament in Abu Dhabi, which he won twice in 2010 and 2011, was expected to be his comeback after missing the Olympics, the US Open and the Davis Cup final, which Spain lost to the Czech Republic.
The news site also stated that after the tournament in Abu Dhabi, Nadal was scheduled to continue his comeback in his first ATP event since the knee injury, the Quatar Open, starting on New Year’s Eve.
The Australian Open is due to begin in Melbourne January 14.
While Nadal assured fans he will be playing again next year, the exact date is currently unknown.
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.