Rafael Nadal pulls out of Australian Open due to muscle tear; ‘I’m not ready to compete in five-set matches’

Spaniard and 22-time Grand Slam winner said his body is “not ready to compete at the maximum level in five-set matches” and he will fly back home for treatment and rest; the Australian Open starts on January 15; 37-year-old returned this month after a year out due to a hip flexor injury

Image: Rafael Nadal will not play at the Australian Open due to a muscle tear

Rafael Nadal has confirmed he has pulled out of this month’s Australian Open due to a muscle tear, but says it is a different injury to the one which kept him out for a year.

The 37-year-old had made his comeback this month at the Brisbane International after a year out due to a hip flexor injury that ultimately required surgery.

Although he posted comprehensive wins over Dominic Thiem and Jason Kubler, the 22-time Grand Slam winner failed to take three match points against Jordan Thompson on Friday in a much tighter contest, before losing the match.

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Rafael Nadal had admitted he was uncertain about whether he would be fit enough to play at the Australian Open after requiring treatment on a leg problem at the Brisbane International.

The Spaniard underwent a medical timeout during the third set of that defeat and visibly struggled as the contest reached its conclusion.

And in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, this morning he provided an update.

“Hi all, during my last match in Brisbane I had a small problem on a muscle that as you know made me worried. Once I got to Melbourne I have had the chance to make an MRI and I have micro tear on a muscle, not in the same part where I had the injury and that’s good news.

“Right now I am not ready to compete at the maximum level of exigence in five-set matches. I’m flying back to Spain to see my doctor, get some treatment and rest.

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“I have worked very hard during the year for this comeback and as I always mentioned my goal is to be at my best level in three months.

“Within the sad news for me for not being able to play in front of the amazing Melbourne crowds, this is not very bad news and we all remain positive with the evolution for the season.

“I really wanted to play here in Australia and I have had the chance to play a few matches that made me very happy and positive.

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The best of the action from Rafael Nadal’s defeat to Jordan Thompson at the Brisbane International.

“Thanks all for the support and see you soon! Rafa.”

Nadal lifted the Australian Open title in 2009 and 2022.

American Madison Keys, a two-time semi-finalist, has also pulled out of the year’s first major due to a shoulder injury.

She wrote on X: “Hi everyone… Unfortunately I’ve been struggling with a shoulder injury & have been advised by my medical staff to withdraw from the @AustralianOpen this year.

“This obviously isn’t the best news to start the tennis season, but I also know I’m making the right choice for my body.”

Britain’s Broady also ruled out

Image: Britain's Liam Broady has also pulled out of the opening Grand Slam of the season

Liam Broady has revealed that he is withdrawing from the tournament due to an ankle injury that worsened during his 6-4 7-6 defeat to Andrey Rublev in Hong Kong this week.

In a statement on X, he wrote: “Sad to say I have had to withdraw from The AO. I have two bone stresses in my ankle that got worse in Hong Kong until I couldn’t move properly on court in my last match.

“When I arrived in Melbourne I got an MRI which confirmed what the pain was. If I continue to play there’s a high chance they could become fractures and instead of a month out it could be 3.

“Although tempting to play injured and take full prize money I felt it wasn’t right when other competitors have a better chance fully fit.”

The main draw of the Australian Open starts on January 15 and runs until January 28 2024.

Sourse: skysports.com

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