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Rafael Nadal pulls out of Australian Open with muscle injury

By primenewsghana
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Tennis legend Rafael Nadal confirmed on Sunday morning that he would miss the upcoming 2024 Australian Open with a minor muscle injury.

Nadal had made his comeback from a hip injury earlier in the Australian calendar, playing competitive tennis for the first time in nearly a year, making a decent run at the Brisbane International before being knocked out in the quarter-finals by Jordan Thompson.

There were concerns at the end of that game that Nadal had suffered another injury, with the Spaniard in some discomfort.

Although he was optimistic, he has now confirmed that whilst the "micro tear" on his muscle was not in the same place as the hip injury it did mean he could not play a five-set game so he would withdraw from the Australian Open and return to Spain.

Nadal wrote: "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.
"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. Thanks all for the support and see you soon! Rafa."

Nadal, a two-time Australian Open champion in 2009 and 2022, has not played in a Grand Slam since last year's tournament in Melbourne, where he was the defending champion.

He was shocked by the American Mackenzie McDonald in the second round, where his hip injury really flared up.

The Spaniard pulled up at 4-6 3-5 down, and needed an off-court medical timeout before returning for the third and final set, which he dropped 7-5.