Nadal withdraws from Brisbane International with injury

Rafa Nadal prefers to stay healthy than chasing tennis ranking

The No. 2-ranked Nadal, in Brisbane preparing to play his first competitive match since retiring from the U.S. Open semifinals last September, found some positives out of an injury-interrupted season that he wants to apply to this year.

The world number two had played an exhibition event - Mubadala World Tennis Championship - and lost to Kevin Anderson in the second round last week. I did an MRI, and it shows a very small strain on the left thigh, but it is there.

Nadal in an interview on the ATP website said his hope is to win the Australia Open as he will be 100 per cent fit in five days. "Everybody is telling me that it's not a good idea to increase the possibility to make the strain a bigger problem".

Wednesday's news obviously creates concern that Nadal will be missing for the first Grand Slam of the season when it starts in Melbourne on January 14.

"As you play up the levels, whether it's issues with your game, like if you're not serving as well or if you're not moving as well, the better players exploit that", Murray said.

His 2019 preparation was also cut short by November ankle surgery.

Lucky loser Taro Daniel will replace Nadal in the second round against Tsonga.

Nadal was forced to retire during matches at two of the four Grand Slams in 2018, but still added a record-extending 11th French Open crown to his collection. "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". Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev and Lucas Pouille all said that they will not play the one-week final stage this year, which means already three current top 10s are sidelined. "So if I don't play here, I probably secure that I'm going to be 100 percent ready for Melbourne".

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