8 Jan 2015

Nadal turns down Auckland invite

1:05 pm on 8 January 2015

Grand Slam tennis winner Rafael Nadal has turned down an invitation to play in next week's Heineken Open in Auckland.

Spanish Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal.

Spanish Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Spaniard was offered a wildcard entry into the tournament by its director Karl Budge yesterday.

But today, Budge said Nadal had turned down the opportunity for more singles match practice before this month's Australian Open.

"It is a great sign for how far the tournaments have grown that there is disappointment we have not been able to pull this off," he said.

"We believe we are now in a position where these sorts of players are a real possibility, and we remain optimistic of chasing such players in 2016."

Nadal remains in Qatar to prepare for this month's Australian Open as he recovers from injury and illness.

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