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A two-time Grand Slam finalist, the Norwegian also thought that Nadal would benefit from taking the rest of the season to prepare for his last hurrah. “I mean, he never gives up so I just think he needs a little time off now and I know that he’s been trying to push the clock and the time to be ready for Roland Garros. And this year he couldn’t do it but now he has a full year,” he noted.

And Ruud also looked at the consequences of Nadal’s withdrawal, admitting that it left the men’s draw wide open for the first time since the 14-time champion made a winning debut in 2005. “The tournament goes on, I think he said it himself. No player is bigger than the tournament,” the 24-year-old said.

“So it’s going to be a little more open and it’s the first time that he doesn’t play since 2004 so it brings maybe some extra motivation to other players. Sort of feel like it’s a little bit more open.”