Rafa Nadal has withdrawn from the Laver Cup to be with pregnant wife Xisca. Image: Getty
Rafa Nadal has followed Roger Federer’s lead and withdrawn from the Laver Cup after just one doubles match, flying home to Spain to be with his pregnant wife.
Nadal teamed up with Federer for the final match of the Swiss legend’s storied career on Friday night in London, losing to Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock at the team event that Federer helped create.
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Under Laver Cup rules, every player must feature in at least one singles and doubles match throughout the three-day event.
However players can be replaced if it occurs before the second day of action, with Federer and Nadal both taking advantage of the rule quirk to withdraw late on Friday.
Federer had always flagged his intentions to only play the opening doubles match in London, saying his surgically-repaired knee wasn’t up to the rigours of singles competition.
However Nadal’s withdrawal came as somewhat of a surprise, with Team Europe announcing that he has left the event and flown home to Spain for personal reasons.
Nadal’s wife Xisca is heavily pregnant and was recently hospitalised in Mallorca as a precaution.
The Spanish champion’s participation at the Laver Cup was in major doubt up until he landed in London, after he said following his loss at the US Open that he didn’t know when he would be back on court.
Speaking on Friday night, Nadal opened up on how difficult it was for him to leave Xisca.
“They have been difficult weeks, few hours of sleep, a little stress in general,” he admitted.
“The situation is a little more complicated than usual at home. I have had to deal with a different pressure than what you are used to in professional life.
“Luckily everything It’s fine, much calmer, and in that sense, I have been able to come here, which was important to me.”
Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal, pictured here emotional after their doubles match at the Laver Cup.
Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were both emotional after their doubles match at the Laver Cup. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)
Nadal’s withdrawal from the Laver Cup means he literally only decided to play so that he could feature in the final match of Federer’s career.