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Rafa withdraws to avoid 'lie'

Rafael Nadal pulled out of his Sony Ericsson Open semi-final with Andy Murray with injury because he did not want to "lie".

The world number two fell foul of his long-suffering knees in Miami, this time his left one, meaning that Murray has a free pass through to the final.

Nadal still opted to face the media, though, and admitted he made the decision, albeit just two hours prior to the start of the match, in the interests of honesty.

"I waited until today in the morning. I did a lot of treatment yesterday," he said last night. "But I am not ready to compete today. I am very sorry for the fans. I'm very sorry for the tournament.

"I'm very sorry for everybody who was ready to watch the match on television. I cannot go on court and lie to everybody."

The 10-time major winner does not foresee too many problems in the forthcoming clay-court season, though, and is hopeful of heading to Monte Carlo next month, saying: "I will be working hard to be back quick on court and to play my best in Monte Carlo."