Djokovic and Nadal con­tro­ver­sial Saudi Ara­bia match called off

The Irish Times - Sports Weekend - - SPORTS -

No­vak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal’s con­tro­ver­sial ex­hi­bi­tion match in Saudi Ara­bia next month has been called off af­ter the Spa­niard un­der­went an­kle surgery.

Both play­ers were heav­ily crit­i­cised for agree­ing to the lu­cra­tive con­test in light of Saudi Ara­bia’s hu­man rights record, with the ex­hi­bi­tion an­nounced less than a week af­ter jour­nal­ist Ja­mal Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi con­sulate in Is­tan­bul.

Talk­ing about the event at last week’s Paris Masters, both men said they com­mit­ted to it a year ago and needed more in­for­ma­tion be­fore tak­ing a fi­nal de­ci­sion about whether to com­pete.

But Nadal’s an­kle surgery ear­lier this week to re­move a float­ing body in the joint af­ter an ab­dom­i­nal in­jury ruled him out of the ATP Fi­nals, means a po­lit­i­cally sen­si­tive de­ci­sion has been taken out of their hands.

Speak­ing at a press con­fer­ence ahead of the tour­na­ment at London’s O2 Arena, Djokovic told re­porters: “It’s not hap­pen­ing.”

Asked if that was be­cause of Nadal’s in­jury, Djokovic replied sim­ply: “Yes.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.