Rafael Nadal withdrew on Saturday from his grass-court start at next week’s ATP Halle event, with the Spaniard saying his doctors advised him to rest his knees after storming through the demanding spring clay-court season.

“I won’t be able to come to Halle this year,” Nadal said in a statement.

“After these past months and all the matches I have been able to play my doctors have recommended to rest after Roland Garros and start after a few days my preparation to play on grass-courts.

“We all know the transition is not easy and after these past months I have to approach this in a different way.”

“I am very sorry for my fans in Germany and in particular in Halle since the welcome I always had there was amazing and last year, organisers also made me feel very special.”

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