World No 2. Rafael Nadal pulled out of the Brisbane International Competition on Wednesday after suffering a strain to his thigh.
“I still wanted to play,” – the 32-year-old Spaniard said. “But all the recommendations from the doctors (were if) I play here, there is a risk, important to don’t have the chance to play Melbourne. I can’t do my 100 percent. It’s a very small thing, but can become a big thing.”
Nadal was slated to play his first ATP tournament on Thursday, the first time since he withdrew at the semifinals of the U.S. Open in September due to a knee injury. Last week, the 17-time grand slam champion withdrew from the Mubadala Exhibition in Abu Dhabi after losing to South Africa’s Kevin Anderson.
“I felt a little bit the leg, the tightening in Abu Dhabi,” Nadal said. “I have to be ready to understand that this kind of stuff happens when you’re coming back from injuries. I have to accept and keep going.”
Japan’s Taro Daniel will replace Nadal at the Brisbane tournament, playing against Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
While he is hopeful of participating in this year’s Australia Open, Nadal’s bigger goal is to stay healthy and chase trophies.
“My main goal is to stay healthy, stay happy and try to play as long as possible.”