USA’s Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe will meet in a Las Vegas exhibition following the Rafael Nadal withdrawal, with the winner of that match taking on Carlos Alcaraz. On March 5th, Nadal and Alcaraz were scheduled to meet at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Nadal, who sustained a hip injury in Australia, announced his withdrawal from the Las Vegas exhibition on Friday. The organizers quickly reacted, adding Fritz and Tiafoe to the event. “America’s top two singles tennis players, Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe, have been added to MGM Rewards Fritz will face Tiafoe with the winner to battle Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz.
Rafael Nadal was forced to pull out of the event due to an injury suffered earlier this year,” the statement read, as revealed by Jon Wertheim.
“America’s top two singles tennis players, Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe, have been added to MGM Rewards Fritz will face Tiafoe with the winner to battle Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz.
Rafael Nadal was forced to pull out of the event due to an injury suffered earlier this year.” — Jon Wertheim (@jon_wertheim) February 19, 2023
Fritz, Tiafoe added to the tournament after the Nadal withdrawal
At the Australian Open, Nadal suffered a second-round defeat against Mackenzie McDonald.
During the match, Nadal was evidently in pain and discomfort but he refused to retire the match. In the end, Nadal suffered a straight-set defeat and left the court visibly emotional. Unfortunately, Nadal didn’t manage to recover in time for the Las Vegas exhibition with Alcaraz.
“I am very sad for not being able to come to Vegas and play in this amazing event with Carlos at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Unfortunately, the timing of my recovery doesn’t make it possible to be there ready to play.
I am sure that we will find another date to celebrate this event and have fun. I would like to thank the fans and event organizers who have been in contact with me all the time, showed a lot of support and have been extremely understanding,” Nadal said in his statement.
With Nadal withdrawing from his exhibition with Alcaraz, the fear is that the Spaniard will also decide to skip the Indian Wells Masters.