Rafael Nadal’s plans for 2019 took another blow earlier today as the former No. 1 had to withdraw from Brisbane due to a left thigh injury.
“After a long period of time without competing, I felt a little bit the leg,” said Nadal. “I did an MRI, and it shows a very small strain on the left thigh, but it’s there.
“I tried to play and I still wanted to play.
“It’s a small thing that can become a much bigger … when you compete the intensity on the muscle it can get worse.”
Nadal, who said he first felt the injury at the Abu Dhabi exo, thinks he’ll be ok for the Australian Open.
“I feel better than four days ago. So the normal improvement is I will be practicing. I’ll probably be 100% in five days,” he added. “But I really believe that I will be 100% ready for Melbourne.”
Nadal’s withdrawal continues an alarming trend. On hard courts, Nadal has finished just one of his last 13 hard court tournaments, finishing (and winning) only the Canadian Open.
Nadal's last 13 hard court events:
Brisbane 18: Withdrew
Aus Open: Retired
Indian Wells: Withdrew
US Open: Retired
ATP Finals: Withdrew
Brisbane 19: Withdrew
— Stuart Fraser (@stu_fraser) January 2, 2019
By contrast, he finished all five of the clay events he entered last year.
He was scheduled to meet Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in his opening match on Wednesday.
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