Rafael Nadal withdraws from Queen’s for third consecutive year

Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the Fever-Tree Championships at Queen’s Club, three days after winning his 11th French Open title.

It is the third consecutive year the world number one has entered the tournament, which begins on Monday, only to pull out before the start.

Nadal said: “Queen’s is a great event, I have happy memories of winning the title in 2008 and I wanted to come back this year. But it has been a very long clay-court season for me with great results.

“I would like to say sorry to the tournament organisers and most of all to the fans that were hoping to see me play, but I have spoken to my doctors and I need to listen to what my body is telling me.”

Nadal last played at Queen’s Club in 2015 and will once again go into Wimbledon without any official grass-court matches. He has struggled at SW19 in recent years, failing to progress beyond the fourth round since his last final appearance in 2011.

Queen’s organisers announced the strongest line-up in the tournament’s history and will now wait to hear whether Andy Murray will follow Nadal in withdrawing.

The two-time Wimbledon champion is expected to decide in the next couple of days whether to make his comeback from hip surgery in West Kensington.

- Press Association

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