After playing in two small tournaments to kick-start his 2013 comeback attempt, Rafael Nadal isn’t too far from step one, announcing he’ll not play in the Indian Wells and Miami Masters tournaments, as his knee problems keep bothering him and preventing him from playing the way he would like to.

Nadal played in two ATP 250 tournaments – first in the Chile Open at Viña del Mar, beating three opponents before losing to Horacio Zeballos in the final. He then moved on to Sao Paulo and the Brasil Open, where he won his first title since the 2012 Roland Garros, beating David Nalbandian in the final.

But the tendinitis in his left knee is still causing him problems, which means he is missing the first Masters tournaments of the season, and will play in the Mexico Open this week (another clay tournament) as part of his plan to play only on clay courts up until the Roland Garros in a few months.

It’s better and I’ve been able to compete but it’s still bothering me. It’s better on some days and worse on others, which isn’t ideal for someone like me, because my idea of competing is based on giving it all at all times.

Nadal has complained more than once about what hard courts are doing to his and others’ bodies on the tour, blaming the scheduling of the ATP Tour and the number of hard courts tournaments on the tour for his injury problems, although that seems to be just a bit of venting frustration due to  being a tad unlucky with the subject.

Nadal will take a break after Acapulco, heading to Monte Carlo in early April, beginning the European clay season, hoping to win his 9th consecutive tournament in the first Clay Masters of the season.

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