Rafael Nadal pulls out of Brisbane International before his first match

05 January, 2019, 11:13 | Author: Nicole Aguilar
  • Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the Brisbane International on the eve of his first scheduled competitive match of the season because of a strained left thigh.

Nadal, the current world number two, has not played a main tour event since a knee problem forced him to retire during his US Open semi-final against Juan Martin del Potro in September past year.

However, after conferring with his doctors he made a decision to withdraw to ensure he would be fit to play the Australian Open later this month.

He also lost the world number one ranking to Djokovic, whose battles with the Spaniard are one of modern sport's greatest rivalries. I did an MRI, and it shows a very small strain on the left thigh, but it is there.

"My hope is to win the Australian Open", he said.

Aryna Sabalenka and Naomi Osaka are my favorite players on the WTA tour. "And being honest, I feel myself playing well".

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Nadal is set to play his first competitive match since September when he faces either Thanasi Kokkinakis or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Thursday.

"I can't do my 100 per cent".

Although bitterly disappointed that he would not be able to perform for the Brisbane crowd, the world No. 2 said on Wednesday evening that he still plans to make January's Australian Open Grand Slam. "I feel myself ready and always it's tough when you have to go from a tournament, but especially if you feel yourself ready and playing well, and that was the case".

"I really believe that I keep having tennis to play in my career", he said at the news conference on Tuesday. "So if I don't play here, I probably secure that I'm going to be 100 percent ready for Melbourne".

Forced to withdraw from 18 of his past 19 tournaments on hard courts since 2017, the 32-year-old's only recent hit out came last month at the Mubadala Championship in Abu Dhabi where he made the semifinals.

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