World No. 24 Gael Monfils called Rafael Nadal “smart” for deciding to play one of the two Sunshine Double tournaments. Nadal, 35, arrived to Indian Wells for the first Masters event of the season but shortly after arriving in the desert he announced his withdrawal from the Miami Masters.
On the other side, Monfils competed in each of the opening two Masters events of the season. In Indian Wells, Monfils stunned Daniil Medvedev in the third round before losing to Carlos Alcaraz in his following match. Monfils then gave a shot to Miami, where he suffered a shock defeat to Francisco Cerundolo in the third round.
“Me and my agent both said that what Rafa is doing is super smart. I hope to be physically fit next year and play both but I will keep in mind this idea of doing only one of the two in 2023,” Monfils told L’Equipe, per We Love Tennis.
Nadal on why he decided to skip Miami
Nadal wanted to give his body more time to rest before the clay season and that’s why he thought it would be smart to skip Miami. “For my body, it is not good to have quick transitions from different surfaces,” Nadal told reporters in Indian Wells.
“Clay to hard – well, hard to clay. If I play Miami, I will not have time to rest and no time to make a swift transition to the clay. “I need to push since the beginning very hard, so that’s dangerous for my foot, for my knees.
“I need to make that transition step by step. I cannot make drastic changes like I did in the past, so that’s why I decided to stop after here and to have, like, three weeks before the clay court season start for me.”
Unfortunately for Nadal, he would have been forced to skip Miami either way as he suffered a rib stress fracture in Indian Wells. Nadal is expected to be out for four to six weeks.