Report- Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic CANCEL controversial Saudi Arabia clash | Tennis | Sport

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Updated: November 9, 2018
Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic CANCEL controversial Saudi Arabia clash | Tennis | Sport

Nadal and Djokovic were due to meet in a lucrative exhibition tie in the Middle East three days before Christmas.

The pair had come under heavy pressure from human rights activists to cancel the tie.

Saudi Arabia has come under huge scrutiny for their poor human rights record, especially after Jamal Khashoggi was butchered inside the country’s embassy in Istanbul.

The journalist was lured to the headquarters in what has been confirmed as a ‘premeditated murder’.

Nadal and Djokovic were considering retracting their commitment because of the enormous outcry around the world.

But Nadal’s injury problems have now also got in the way and offered them an easy way out.

“Yes, it is not happening,” Djokovic said.

“Yes [because Nadal is injured]”

Nadal spent seven weeks sidelined with a knee injury he sustained at the US Open.

The Spaniard was due to return at the Paris Masters last week but picked up a stomach injury, forcing him out of the ATP Finals.

Nadal also took the decision to undergo surgery on a recurring ankle problem earlier this week.

It means the world No 2 has brought his season to a premature end and halted talk over the controversial meeting with Djokovic.

“It was a complicated year, very good at the tennis level when I was able to play and at the same time very bad as far as injuries are concerned,” Nadal said in a statement earlier this week.

“I have done everything possible to reach the end of the season in good condition, both in Paris and London, doing things well and I really wanted to play.

“Unfortunately, I had the abdominal problem in Paris last week and, in addition, I have a free body in the ankle joint that has to be removed in the operating room today.

“It is true that we had detected it for a long time and from time to time it bothered me.

“However, since the problem in the abdominal muscle also prevents me from playing in London, we take advantage of the moment to remove the free body and avoid future problems.

“I have done everything possible to reach the end of the season in good condition, both in Paris and London, doing things well and I really wanted to play.

“Unfortunately, I had the abdominal problem in Paris last week and, in addition, I have a free body in the ankle joint that has to be removed in the operating room today.

“It is true that we had detected it for a long time and from time to time it bothered me.

“However, since the problem in the abdominal muscle also prevents me from playing in London, we take advantage of the moment to remove the free body and avoid future problems.”