Nadal Fitness Concern at Brisbane - Withdraws to Prepare for Australian Open

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Dominic Thiem of Austria hits to Rafael Nadal of Spain in a quarterfinal match on day nine of the 2018 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

The Spaniard opted not to play his second match at an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi last week after tweaking his thigh and is anxious about the risk of exacerbating the problem. "I tried to play, I wanted to play, but recommendations from the doctors (were otherwise)", Nadal said during a press conference. "I feel better than I did four days ago, but if I play here, I risk damaging my body for a month", he explained. "But my main goal is to stay healthy, stay happy and try to play as long as possible".

Rafael Nadal was advised not to risk playing in Brisbane after suffering a small strain of his left thigh.

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Nadal, who said he first felt the injury at the Abu Dhabi exo, thinks he'll be ok for the Australian Open. Probably I'm 100 per cent in five days. In fact, After not playing the final for the 3rd place at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, he pulls out also from the Brisbane International where he was seeded no.1. "Everybody is telling me that it's not a good idea to increase the possibility to make the strain a bigger problem".

The 17-time Grand Slam champion hasn't played a competitive match since September but said Wednesday he is working hard in practice and remains confident he will be ready to compete at the Australian Open, which starts January 14 at Melbourne Park.

"I have to be ready to understand that this kind of stuff happens when you're coming back from injuries".

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The 17-time Grand Slam champion was replaced by Japan's Taro Daniel in the second round against France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

The Spanish star endured a hard 2018, playing just nine tournaments before undergoing ankle surgery in November.

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