Tennis: 5-time defending champ Nadal skips Barcelona
BARCELONA, Spain — Rafael Nadal is skipping the Barcelona Open this week to rest, which means he won't defend his title at a tournament he has won the past five years.
Nadal made the announcement Monday, one day after winning his first tournament in nearly a year in Monte Carlo. He said in a statement that he was "really sorry not to play in Barcelona, more than any other tournament.
Nadal said he has often complained that the clay court tennis schedule at this stage of the season "is poorly structured" and that "not playing in Barcelona is a consequence of that."
Sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic and David Nalbandian of Argentina both pulled out of the event because of injury on Monday.