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Injury forces Nadal to pull out of Brisbane International

Injury forces Nadal to pull out of Brisbane International

DARREN ENGLAND

EFE

World No. 2 Rafael Nadal has pulled out of the Brisbane International in a bid to get ready for the Australian Open, starting January 14 in Melbourne.

Rafa Nadal has pulled out of this week's Brisbane International due to a left thigh problem, with the Spaniard saying he did not want to risk an injury ahead of this month's Australian Open.

The world number two endured an injury-plagued 2018 season that saw him contest only nine tournaments due to hip, knee, abdomen and ankle injuries.

The 32-year-old did not play after retiring against Juan Martin del Potro in their U.S. Open semi-final last September and underwent ankle surgery two months later.

"I did an MRI and it shows a small staring on my left thigh," Nadal, who was due to face Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round on Thursday, said. I tried to play, I wanted to play, but recommendations from the doctors (were otherwise).

"It's a small thing that can become a much bigger... when you compete the intensity on the muscle it can get worse... I feel better than I did four days ago... it's a risk to damage my body for one month if I play here."

Rafael Nadal

Despite a curtailed season, Nadal managed to win five titles last year, including a record-extending 11th French Open title that took his Grand Slam tally to 17.

He lost a three-set exhibition match against South Africa's Kevin Anderson in Abu Dhabi last week and had indicated he was fighting fit ahead of the Brisbane tournament.