Rafael Nadal withdraws from Brisbane International with thigh injury

Rafael Nadal withdraws from Brisbane International with thigh injury

Rafael Nadal on Wednesday withdrew from the season-opening Brisbane International after an MRI revealed a slight strain of his left thigh.

The Spaniard opted not to play his second match at an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi last week after tweaking his thigh and is anxious about the risk of exacerbating the problem.

"I really believe that I have to keep having tennis to play in my career, and I really feel that my body is not going to get worse every year. And I feel myself with very high motivation to compete and to play".

He also lost the world number one ranking to Djokovic, whose battles with the Spaniard are one of modern sport's greatest rivalries.

Rafael Nadal was advised not to risk playing in Brisbane after suffering a small strain of his left thigh.

Nadal indicated his decision was based on wanting to be healthy for the Australian Open on January 14.

The Australian Open starts on January 14 and he'll arrive out of rhythm, as was the case previous year when he couldn't play any matches in the build-up to the tournament before retiring with injury in the quarter-finals.

Nadal then guaranteed "I will probably be 100 percent in five days and then I will have plenty of time to prepare for Melbourne".

HERE, Nadal talks to the press about what we can expect to see from him on the upcoming tour. "It's a risk to damage my body for one month if I play".

"And being honest, I feel myself playing well".

Taro Daniel, a lucky loser from qualifying, will take Nadal's place in the Brisbane International draw and will play Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round.

The 32-year old's injury woes the past few years have started to add up.

"And was awful news for me that things were not the way that I planned, but coming back from a period of time outside of the competition and coming back from surgery, you know, there's always a chance that this kind of stuff happens".

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