Rafael Nadal: Marin Cilic makes cheeky jibe at Spaniard for Queen’s withdrawal
MARIN CILIC joked that he was glad Rafael Nadal withdrew from Queen’s because it makes the tournament easier for him to win.
Cilic became the top seed at Queen’s after Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro pulled out earlier this week.
Nadal was set to make his first competitive return following his French Open win earlier this month.
But the Spaniard withdrew because of fitness issues which have thrown his Wimbledon participation into doubt.
And while Cilic claims it is a “pity” Nadal is not present in London, he is hoping to use that to his advantage by going one better than last year and winning the competition.
“Obviously it’s a pity that they’re not here but it’s probably better for us,” Cilic said with a cheeky grin painted on his face.
“These things happen. Look at Rafa, he has played so many matches on clay, it’s difficult on the body.
Rafael Nadal is still resting following his success at the French Open
“Sometimes you feel good in a tournament and he has done it so many years in a row where he would win the French Open and then comes to Queen’s straight away to play.
“Sometimes the body feels a little bit different and a little bit tired – we are all different, the year is quite long and you have to always go by the feeling.”
Nadal’s withdrawal initially made Del Potro the No 1 seed until he also pulled out of the competition.
And Cilic believes the Argentine is also struggling from the gruelling tour.
“Del Potro, in the last year and a half, is taking lots more care for the tournaments,” Cilic added.
“After Miami he had a break until Madrid so he is taking his time. Probably taking care of his body, he has had so many injuries.”