“I am not prepared”: Rafael Nadal will not participate in the Australian Open due to a new muscle tear.

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Rafael Nadal has pulled out of the Australian Open due to an MRI scan showing a small muscle tear he sustained at the Brisbane International. This has raised worries that the 37-year-old may have competed in his last professional match in Australia.

The 22-time champion of the Grand Slam returned to the game in Brisbane after being out of the game for almost a year due to an injury sustained at the Australian Open in January of last year.

Nadal had surgery on the psoas tendon in his left hip in June and previously stated before his singles comeback in Brisbane that there was “a high percentage” that the 2024 tennis season could be his last.

Despite remaining optimistic for the rest of the season, Rafael Nadal has decided not to compete in this year’s first major due to a recent setback. This setback is not related to his hip injury from last year. He made the decision on Sunday morning after determining that he is not physically ready.

“In my most recent match in Brisbane, I experienced a minor issue with a muscle which caused me concern,” Nadal stated on X.

After arriving in Melbourne, I was able to undergo an MRI scan which revealed a small tear in a muscle. Fortunately, it is not in the same area as my previous injury. However, I am not currently in a state to compete at my highest level in five-set matches. I will be returning to Spain to consult with my doctor, receive treatment, and rest.

“I have put in a lot of effort throughout the year in preparation for my return, and as I have consistently stated, my aim is to reach my peak performance in three months,” Nadal stated. “Although it is disappointing that I am unable to compete in front of the incredible crowds in Melbourne, this setback is not entirely negative and we are all maintaining a positive outlook for the rest of the season. I was eager to participate in the Australian Open and I am grateful for the opportunity to have played a few matches, which brought me great joy and optimism.”

Nadal had impressed in Brisbane while disposing of Dominic Thiem and Jason Kubler to reach the quarter-finals. The Spaniard’s promising comeback was ended in a gruelling three-and-a-half-hour quarter-final loss to the Australian Jordan Thompson as Nadal was hampered by a leg problem on Friday night – his third match in four days after almost 12 months without playing.

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Unfortunately, Liam Broady will not be participating in the first major tournament of the year due to an injury. Despite his recent loss to Andrey Rublev in the Hong Kong Open, Broady has decided to withdraw from the Australian Open. He explained that he has two bone stresses in his ankle which worsened during the Hong Kong Open, making it difficult for him to move properly on the court during his last match.

“When I reached Melbourne, I underwent an MRI scan that revealed the cause of my pain. If I choose to keep playing, there is a strong possibility that the injuries could worsen and instead of taking a month to recover, it could take three. While it may be tempting to compete despite being injured and receive the full prize money, I didn’t feel it was fair to do so when other competitors have a higher chance of success while fully healthy.”

Source: theguardian.com

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