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Nadal withdraws from the Brisbane International

04 January 2019

"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.

He played the opening round at an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi last week, where he lost to South African Kevin Anderson.

But the 17-time grand slam champion said returning to the top was not a target of his this year.

"So I don't play here and I probably secure that I'm going to be 100 per cent for Melbourne. I showed I can play very well without competing for a while".

As for the Australian Open, Nadal sees himself in a better position than 12 months ago when he entered the major on the back of just one match in nearly three months due to more knee issues.

"As I said before, and especially for the tournament, especially for the fans, that this is the second year that they are not going to have the chance to watch me play here".

Although bitterly disappointed that he would not be able to perform for the Brisbane crowd, the world No. 2 said on Wednesday evening that he still plans to make January's Australian Open Grand Slam.

Asked if he wanted to reclaim No.1, Rafael Nadal said: "It's not my goal".

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.

Nadal, who had a first-round bye, was scheduled to play his second round match against Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Thursday.

Despite an injury-curtailed 2018 season, Nadal managed to win five titles a year ago, including a record-extending 11th French Open title that took his Grand Slam tally to 17.

"I had some troubles through my career, it is true", Nadal said at a press conference.

"If I really thought that I would not play here, it would be hard for me to be here, to be around, to be in front of you today".

Nadal withdraws from the Brisbane International