KEY BISCAYNE (CBSMiami/AP) – Mens tennis star Rafael Nadal will not be competing in the Sony Open which opened Monday on Key Biscayne.

“I’m very sorry for the organization of the tournament and I’m very sorry for the fans, but we never thought we’d be able to play all matches possible since I came back,” said Nadal.

Nadal won the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday at Indian Wells, California. It was his third title in four tournaments since returning in February after seven months off with the knee injury.  He said he decided to skip the Sony Open so he could rest his knee.

“The doctors recommend me to be back home for a few weeks and rest a little bit and keep practicing the right way. I need more power on the left leg quadriceps, so I need to keep working hard. The competition is hard for the body, so after four fantastic weeks I can’t go to Miami. I need to prepare and rest for the next one.”

Sony Open tournament director Adam Barrett says he’s disappointed that Nadal won’t be competing in Miami.

Nadal says he next plans to play on clay in Monte Carlo in mid-April, followed by two tournaments in his home country of Spain — Barcelona and Madrid — and then Rome.

This is not the first time Nadal has opted not to compete at the Key Biscayne tournament. In 2012, Nadal withdrew from the Sony Ericsson’s semifinals just two hours before the scheduled start of his match. He cited a left knee injury.

Nadal has never won the championship at Key Biscayne.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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