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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday February 26, 2021

Days after pulling out of next week's ABN Amro in Rotterdam, Rafael Nadal has pulled out of next March's Abierto Mexicano Telcel, saying that he is still not fit enough to test his back on the hard courts in Mexico.

I am very sorry not to participate in Acapulco 2021,” Nadal wrote on Twitter, in comments posted in Spanish. “It is a difficult year for everyone and in my current state of health, with a back ailment, it makes it impossible to make such a long trip. I love Acapulco, played for the last 4 years, but this year it has not been possible. Hopefully in 2022!”

Nadal’s statement comes four days after a report in the Mexican media was released, with quotes from tournament director Raul Zurutuza, in which he spoke of the difficulty of finalizing an agreement with Nadal regarding his appearance fee for the event.

“The relationship with Carlos Costa (Nadal's agent) is super good and things were very open, the reality is that there are no funds to pay. Our budget for this year is super mega limited, so we decided to invest that money in bringing whoever we have to bring,” he said.

Zurutuza went on to mention that the appearance fee of Alexander Zverev had already been solidified, and added that it would cost too much to rework or cancel that deal in order to make room for Nadal.

With attendance limited, and funds scarce, the tours are struggling to lure top players to smaller events, especially with the risk of contracting Covid-19 a very real threat.

“We already had a signed contract with Zverev and it was more expensive to cancel it than to pay him. And the other players, the four or five that we invited with an appearance fee, their economic demands are substantially lower than what they normally do,” Zuratuza said.

Update: Zurutuza took to Twitter to clarify the nature of Nadal's withdrawal later on Friday:

It is likely that Nadal will next appear on his beloved clay as the road to Roland Garros begins in early April.