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Nadal withdraws from Queen's Club following French Open victory

By Eleanor Crooks

Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the Fever-Tree Championships at Queen’s Club, three days after winning his 11th French Open title.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 No.1 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.

Meanwhile, Roger Federer returned to action with a 3-6 6-4 6-2 victory over Mischa Zverev at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart.

The 36-year-old chose to miss the clay season for the second successive year and was playing his first match since the defeat by Thanasi Kokkinakis at the Miami Open in March.

And Britain’s Dan Evans claimed one of the best victories of his comeback so far by beating Sergiy Stakhovsky 7-5 7-6 (7/2) in the second round of the Nature Valley Open in Nottingham.

This is the fourth tournament Evans has played since returning from a year-long ban following his positive test for cocaine.

The 28-year-old must wait to see whether his good form is enough to convince Wimbledon to give him a wild card into qualifying or whether he must play in next week’s wild card play-off.

Belfast Telegraph

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