‘Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem are already thinking about clay,’ says David Goffin

The season’s first Masters 1000 tournament starts on March 24 in Miami, offering the players a chance to chase a notable trophy and 1000 ATP points. Three out of the world’s six leading players will not be in Miami, including Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem, who joined Roger Federer on the exit list. Thiem and Nadal have decided to skip Miami, unwilling to embrace such a long trip for one tournament and hoping to play at their best on beloved clay in April. Mentioning Nadal and Thiem, David Goffin said that he understands their decision to skip Miami, saying they are already thinking about clay. Thiem has won only five out of nine matches this season, suffering early losses in Melbourne, Doha and Dubai and still waiting for his first semi-final of the season.

On the other hand, Nadal has played only the Australian Open so far in 2021, struggling with a back injury since the Adelaide quarantine in January and not feeling ready to compete after Melbourne. Rafa won four Australian Open encounters in straight sets, playing well and looking better on the court ahead of the crucial obstacles.

Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem will not play in Miami next week.

In the quarters, the Spaniard wasted two sets to love advantage against Stefanos Tsitsipas and suffered one of the toughest losses at Majors in a career. Returning home, Rafa had to withdraw from Rotterdam, and he didn’t want to play in Acapulco or Dubai either, preserving energy and working hard on a comeback that should happen in Monte Carlo from April 11. Last year, Rafa played only two tournaments on clay, losing in the Rome quarter-final before conquering his 13th Roland Garros. 

“Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem are already thinking about clay, which is their most significant goal of the year. I understand their decision. A 19-hour flight for just one tournament, it’s complicated. But I will play in Miami, it’s still the Masters 1000, and you have to be there. I know now why I didn’t come to Dubai in the past because it’s very tough; the conditions are so fast, and it’s not easy for my game, especially when you play against Kei,” David Goffin said.