Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the ATP Brisbane International after having not yet recovered from his thigh injury.
The Spaniard world number two was supposed to play Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in his first round encounter, but opted out, having suffered a fitness issue on his left thigh.
By his own admission, it wasn’t such a big problem but one that had the potential to become bigger if aggravated and Nadal decided to rest it out ahead of the first major of the year. The Australian Open is less than a fortnight away.
According to a media release, the organisers said Nadal didn’t want to risk a worse injury.
“It’s a small thing that can become a much bigger when you compete the intensity on the muscle it can get worse.”
Nadal also revealed he felt better than a few days ago but it was going to be difficult for him to play the whole month in Australia.
Incidentally, of the last 13 hard-court tournaments that Nadal has participated in or was supposed to participate in, he has won one and withdrawn from or retired from the other 12. This run of fitness problems began in Brisbane last year when he had to withdraw from the competition too.
Nadal had earlier also withdrawn from the Mubadala World Tennis Championship as well, making this his second successive withdrawal this season.
What this means is that Tsonga will now take on Japan’s lucky loser Taro Daniel who comes in for Nadal for their second round match.