Rafael Nadal has endured a series of injuries during his illustrious career but the latest setback appeared to happen in the comfort of his own home.
The 19-time Grand Slam champion asked to postpone a virtual tennis charity match on Monday because of a ‘back issue’, according to Madrid Open Virtual Pro tournament director Feliciano Lopez.
Nadal is one of 32 stars competing in a video game version of the showpiece clay-court event, which was postponed due to the coronavirus crisis.
Rafael Nadal won his opening match but had to postpone his second tie due to a ‘back issue’
Nadal is one of 32 stars competing in a video game version of the showpiece clay-court event
After beating Canada’s Denis Shapovalov in his opening match between ATP players despite technical issues, Nadal was set to play Spanish YouTuber DjMariio in a charity match on Monday.
But Lopez says Nadal contacted him on Monday asking for the match to be postponed.
‘He had an issue on his back and was a bit injured so he requested to play DjMariio tomorrow,’ Lopez said on the tournament’s live YouTube stream.
Britain’s Andy Murray beat France’s Benoit Paire 3-1 in his opening match on Monday
The cheeky Scot grunted after every shot and provided some hilarious in-game commentary
‘I got a text from Rafa before he played Shapovalov saying he injured himself. I don’t know if he was working out or what it was. But he was worried about the injury.
‘He said ‘let me play the match against Shapovalov and that’s it for today, then tomorrow I will try to play against DjMariio’.’
Nadal, 33, has also been drawn in the same group as Britain’s Andy Murray, who beat France’s Benoit Paire 3-1 in his opening match.
World No 8 Belinda Bencic was another star of the virtual show with a ‘walkout’ on Monday
There was little in-game banter during Nadal’s victory, but Murray upped the ante as he defeated Frenchman Benoit Paire.
The cheeky Scot grunted after every shot and provided some hilarious in-game commentary during his 3-1 win over the Frenchman.
After the match he said to Paire: ‘I think it was a decent level.’
Belinda Bencic, the 2019 US Open semifinalist, joined in the spirit with a ‘walkout’ by posting a video of herself entering a living room to the strains of ‘I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll’
Matches consist of one set in a first-to-three format, with a tie-break to decide the winner if they are locked at 3-3.
Dressed in full kit, Bencic took her controller out of her tennis bag when she reached her TV