PHOTOS/VIDEO: Rafael Nadal withdraws from Brisbane International 2019
Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from Brisbane International.due to left thigh problem
“I did an MRI and it shows a small staring on my left thigh,” Nadal said. “I tried to play, I wanted to play, but recommendations from the doctors (were otherwise).
“It's a very small thing, but can become a big thing, because a strain in the muscle is dangerous,” said Nadal.
“When you increase the intensity on the muscle competing, then there is a big risk to make something bigger. And today it's not big".
“So the normal improvement is I will be practising. Probably I'm 100 percent in five days.”
“I feel better than I did four days ago … It’s a risk to damage my body for one month if I play here.”
“I know it’s tough … I can’t thank enough the people who support me in my career — especially the tough moments.”
“My hope is to win the Australian Open,” said Nadal
“That's the hope, always. The situation, I can't tell you. We'll see how the things improve. And being honest, I feel myself playing well. I feel myself playing at a good level of tennis. And I feel myself with very high motivation to compete and to play".
“And was terrible news for me that things were not the way that I planned, but coming back from a period of time outside of the competition and coming back from a surgery, you know, there's always a chance that this kind of stuff happens. It happened in Abu Dhabi".
“But I really believe that I will be 100 percent ready for Melbourne.”
"As I said before, and especially for the tournament, especially for the fans, that this is the second year that they don't going to have the chance to watch me play here.
"But no doubt that the person that is more affected and the person that suffers more in this situation is me".
"So very sorry to everybody. Thank you very much to all the tournament for understanding."
Brisbane International Tournament Director Cameron Pearson said: “We know how disappointed Rafael Nadal is that he has had to withdraw from the Brisbane International and is unable to play in front of the Brisbane fans this year.
“Rafa gave himself every opportunity to play and we respect how hard he tried to take the court. We wish him well for the remainder of the Australian summer of tennis.”
Rafa practised at the Queensland Tennis Centre on Wednesday afternoon before making the announcement.
Photos: AFP; Getty Images; EPA; AP