Nadal to miss Dubai
Six-time Grand Slam winner to save himself for Serbia
Last Updated: 19/02/09 6:52pm
Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the Dubai Tennis Championship, which starts on February 23.
"I am very disappointed not to be able to compete in Dubai but the doctor has advised me to stay home and rest after the pain in my knee in Rotterdam last week."
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The world number one has failed to recover from a strained ligament in his right knee, sustained in the ABN Amro final defeat to Andy Murray.
The 22-year-old has reassured fans that the injury is not serious, but is prioritising Spain's Davis Cup tie against Serbia in March.
"I am very disappointed not to be able to compete in Dubai but the doctor has advised me to stay home and rest after the pain in my knee in Rotterdam last week," the Spaniard said on his website.
"It's nothing to be worried about but it needs some rest. I ask my fans and the tournament organisers to understand and I am sorry for this. Dubai is one of my favourite tournaments and I have always played there.
"I expect to be back in competition the following week for the Davis Cup tie in Benidorm against Serbia and then for Indian Wells and Miami after that."
Tendinitis in the same knee forced Nadal to miss the Davis Cup final in November, when Spain beat Argentina for its third title in eight years, and he is determined to avoid a repeat.
Novak Djokovic, the world number three, leads the Serbian team and the pair are likely to duel during the March 6-8 encounter in Benidorm.