Nadal withdraws from Wimbledon tune-up in Halle

Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from next week's Gerry Weber Open.

Nadal cited the physical demands of the recent clay-court season and his run to the French Open final as the reason for his decision to pull out of the grass-court Wimbledon tune-up. The Spanish superstar played more than 4 1/2 hours on Friday in his semifinal victory over Novak Djokovic at Roland Garros and will take on David Ferrer in Sunday's final.

"I won't be able to come to Halle this year, 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," said Nadal in a statement on Saturday. "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, organizers also made me feel very special. They have made a very special tournament and it will be a success. I hope I can return to play some time soon."

Nadal played in Halle last year after winning the French Open despite knee issues. He also played at Wimbledon before taking seven months off because of his injury and didn't return to action until this past February.

"It is a shame and regrettable that Rafael cannot come, but I can understand his decision," said tournament director Ralf Weber in a statement. "I know that it was not an easy one to take, but the player's health comes first."

Nadal's place in the draw was given to Mischa Zverev.