Tennis fans worldwide received heartbreaking news as Rafael Nadal, announced his withdrawal from the Australian Open. The 22-time grand slam winner, who has been battling a hip injury since last year's Australian Open, confirmed his decision just a week before the grand slam event.
Injury Setback for Nadal
Nadal revealed his decision to return to Spain after suffering a "micro-tear" in a muscle, different from his previous hip injury. This announcement follows his impressive performance at the Brisbane International, where he secured victories over Dominic Thiem and Jason Kubler but fell in a marathon quarterfinal match against Jordan Thompson.
Concerns about Nadal's fitness arose during the Brisbane tournament, particularly during a medical timeout in the third set that focused on his upper thigh. While Nadal continued to play, he later expressed uncertainty about the injury's severity.
In a tweet, Nadal updated his fans:
“Hi all, during my last match in Brisbane I had a small problem on a muscle... I am not ready to compete at the maximum level of exigence in 5 sets matches. I’m flying back to Spain to see my doctor, get some treatment and rest.”
Despite the setback, Nadal remains optimistic about his recovery and season, aiming to be at his best in three months. His dedication to returning to top form was evident, as he had worked hard for his comeback.
Support from World No. 2
Nadal's decision prompted supportive messages from fellow players and tennis officials. World No. 2 Carlos Alcaraz, two-time Aussie doubles grand slam champion Matt Ebden, Aussie doubles legend Paul McNamee, and Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley expressed their support and well wishes for his speedy recovery.