Just when Rafael Nadal had recovered from a knee injury, a stomach virus has delayed his return to tennis by a couple of months.

Nadal announced Friday he will miss next month's Australian Open and probably won't play again until the end of February. The Spaniard said he needs time to recover from the virus that already prevented him from coming back this week at Abu Dhabi.

Nadal has been sidelined since June with a knee injury, which forced him to miss the London Olympics and U.S. Open. He had planned to rejoin the ATP Tour at the Qatar Open in Doha next month before the Jan. 14-27 Australian Open, but pulled out of both.

  • Top-ranked Novak Djokovic routed David Ferrer 6-0, 6-3 to reach the final of the World Tennis Championship exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. In the final, Djokovic will face Spain's Nicolas Almagro, a last-minute replacement for Nadal.

    Winter sports

    Anna Fenninger of Austria had two near-perfect runs to win a World Cup giant slalom in Semmering, Austria, beating Slovenia's Tina Maze by 1.10 seconds. American teenager Mikaela Shiffrin finished eighth.

  • Heather Richardson won the women's 500 meters in speedskating with the fastest time in the world this year at the U.S. Long Track Championships in Kearns, Utah. Mitch Whitmore took the men's sprint title on the second day of competition.


    Advertisement

  • Andrei Makarov made 41 saves to help Russia beat the United States 2-1 at the world junior ice hockey championships in Ufa, Russia.

    Obituaries

    David "Salt" Walther, the former auto and hydroplane racer who was severely burned in a spectacular crash in the 1973 Indianapolis 500, has died. He was 65. The Montgomery County (Ohio) Coroner's Office said the cause of death hadn't been determined.

  • Climbing legend Bill Forrest, who also made notable innovations in mountaineering equipment, died last week while snowshoeing near Colorado's Monarch Pass. He was 73.

    Miscellany

    Retired Puerto Rican boxing great Wilfred Benitez, 54, has been hospitalized in the U.S. territory after family members worried he might have suffered a stroke. Benitez is the youngest fighter to ever win a world title, at 17 years old, but he struggled with traumatic brain injuries later in life. He was previously hospitalized in October 1996 and uses a wheelchair.

  • Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins and Olympic champion sailor Ben Ainslie were honored with knighthoods by Queen Elizabeth II in her New Year list.