Nadal, wary of thigh problem before Australian Open, pulls out of Brisbane International

first_imgIn what comes as a major blow to the start of his new season, Rafael Nadal has pulled out of the season-opening ATP 250 tournament – Brisbane International with a left thigh problem in a bid to avoid an injury ahead of Australian Open.”It’s a small thing that can become a much bigger… when you compete, the intensity on the muscle it can get worse,” Nadal was quoted as saying by the tournament organisers,” Nadal was quoted as saying by the AP.”I feel better than I did four days ago… It’s a risk to damage my body for one month if I play here.”Lucky loser Taro Daniel will replace Nadal in the second round against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.Nadal hasn’t played on the ATP tour since withdrawing from the US Open midway during his semi-final against Juan Martin del Potro in September 2018.The world number two had played an exhibition event – Mubadala World Tennis Championship – and lost to Kevin Anderson in the second round last week.Nadal was expected to face either Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France or local hope Thanasi Kokkinakis in the second round of Brisbane International wherein he had received a first-round bye.Nadal had earlier said his main priority is to take care of his body and that he wouldn’t sacrifice his fitness to chase the world number one rank, which is currently being held by Novak Djokovic.”My goal is just to be happy doing what I am doing and be competitive all the weeks that I am playing. I want to feel myself competitive every week that I am on the court and I want to keep fighting for the things that really make me feel alive, you know, for the things that motivate me,” Nadal had said.advertisement”So I will not (chase) the number one because it’s not my main goal. Of course, I prefer to be number one than number two, and I prefer to be number two than number five, that’s obvious”.Also Watch | 43 Grand Slam titles later, Federer and Serena click a selfie for the agesAlso Read | Hopman Cup: Federer prevails in first ever match against Serena in mixed doublesAlso Read | Somdev blasts All India Tennis Association over budget cut for Centre of Excellencelast_img

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