Rafael Nadal's reason to opt out of the Davis Cup World Group Play-off opening tie on Friday remained shrouded in mystery with Spain captain Conchita Martinez and player Feliciano Lopez coming up with two contrasting versions for the outcome of the decision.
While it was communicated to the media minutes before the match that Nadal won’t be able to play due to a stomach bug, Lopez said at a press conference that the 14-time Grand Slam champion had a wrist issue.
Later after the second singles, Conchita addressed the media and contradicted Lopez by saying that he indeed had a stomach bug.
"He had a stomach ache after lunch. He was not feeling too well and we didn't want to risk it. He is being taken care of by the doctor and it all depends on how he recovers. We will work with the doctor and only tomorrow we will know if he will be playing the doubles," Martinez told reporters.
After being pressed by media again, she said: "It was definitely stomach bug. Wrist has been an issue but it has been progressing well."
Earlier after the opening match, Lopez said that Nadal is still recovering from a wrist injury and was not completely sure of playing in the first match and that the team was aware of this development for the last week.
"We knew during the week that I might play the tie instead of Rafa as he was not 100 per cent sure if he will be up to for the tie. We spoke last night about it and till the last moment he was not 100 per cent sure. So I had an idea so it wasn't bothering me," said Lopez, who turned up in place of Nadal and defeated Ramkumar Ramanathan 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 in the Play-off tie.
The hype around the Davis Cup tie between India and Spain reached a crescendo after Nadal was named in the squad and a 4000-capacity crowd had turned up at the R K Khanna stadium in New Delhi to watch the legend in action but the last moment pull out left the fans disappointed.
Image: Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal arrives for the opening ceremony of the Davis Cup World Group Play-off tie against India, in New Delhi on Friday
Photograph: Manvender Vashist/PTI