In a setback for the Spanish team, Rafael Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz and Marcel Granollers are going to miss the 2022 ATP Cup, the Spanish media reported. The third edition of the ATP Cup is scheduled to be held between 1--9 January, 2022. In their absence, Team Spain will be led by Roberto Bautista Agut and Pablo Carreno Busta.
Nadal, who hasn't played since August due to a foot injury, will make his comeback at the Mubadala World Tennis Championships in Abu Dhabi which begins on 16 December. He has triumphed at the exhibition tournament five times previously, and won the event the last time it was played in 2019, defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas in a three-set thriller.
The 20-time Grand Slam winner's plans for the Australian Open remain unclear for now. If he intends to compete, he could play in one of the ATP 250 events scheduled after the ATP Cup, in preparation for the Australian Open.
Alcaraz, who recently tested positive for Covid-19 and had to miss out on making his Davis Cup debut, understandably wants to have a longer off season to recover fully and will be missing the ATP Cup. Doubles specialist Granollers wants a longer off-season as well.
Rafael Nadal's absence felt as Spain crashes out of the Davis Cup
Defending champions Spain failed to make it out of the group stage of this year's Davis Cup. However, the team fought very hard and lost a close decisive doubles tie against Russia. Victory in this match would've seen them make the quarterfinals.
The Spanish team's chances took a big hit long before the start of the tournament due to Nadal's unavailability because of his injury. With a 29-1 record in singles at the Davis Cup, he has been one of the most prolific players not only for his country, but also in the tournament's history.
Nadal won all eight of his matches, including doubles, during the 2019 Davis Cup as the Spanish team won the event for the first time since 2011.
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