Nadal announces he will not participate in the Australian Open due to injury | Sports

Rafael Nadal announced this Sunday on his X account (formerly Twitter) that he would not play the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the season, due to an injury. The event will begin on January 14 in Melbourne, but the Spanish tennis player will not be able to participate due to the physical setback he suffered on Friday during the duel in Brisbane against the Australian Jordan Thompson, in the quarter-finals of the said tournament . In the third set, when the clock had already passed three hours – it was finally 3h 25m – the 22 major champion requested treatment for groin discomfort, although he was able to finish the match. Nadal lost 5-7, 7-6(6), 6-3.

“Hello everyone, during my last match in Brisbane, I had a small problem with a muscle (the iliopsoas, operated on in June) which, as you know, worried me. Once I arrived in Melbourne, I had the opportunity to have an MRI and I have a micro tear in a muscle, not in the same part where I had the injury and that’s good news.” explained the Spaniard through his social networks, first thing this Sunday. “At the moment, I am not ready to compete at the highest level of requirements in five-set matches. I am returning to Spain to see my doctor , receive treatment and rest,” added the Mallorcan, who returned to competition this week after almost a year of interruption.

Nadal had not played an official match since January 18, when he suffered a ruptured iliopsoas tendon during the duel with American Mackenzie McDonald. Although six to eight weeks of absence from work were then expected, the absence became prolonged and he ultimately had to give up the rest of the year, having undergone surgery in June to undergo surgery on the damaged muscle and also on an old problem that dragged on the hip. After the operation he immediately began the rehabilitation process and in October he began to hit the first balls, but it was not until a little over a month ago that he really increased the ‘intensity.

Well inside the evil

In another post on The first event on the calendar is the Monte Carlo Masters, which begins on April 6. Later, from May 26 to June 9, Roland Garros will take place, the great goal of the Balearic Islands. “Despite the sad news for me of not being able to play in front of the incredible crowd in Melbourne, it’s not bad news and we all remain positive about how the season is going. I really wanted to play here in Australia and I had the opportunity to play matches that made me very happy and positive. Thank you all for your support and see you soon!”, he added in the message.

On his way to Spain, the tennis player, who will turn 38 on June 3, will be examined upon arrival by his personal doctor, the Cantabrian Ángel Ruiz Cotorro. If your calendar was already open, subject to how the day progresses, you will now focus more than ever on arriving at the clay court season in the best possible conditions. For the moment, Nadal has confirmed his presence in an exhibition in Las Vegas (organized by Netflix) with the Murcian Carlos Alcaraz, on March 3, and his presence was also recently made official at the Open Banc Sabadell in Barcelona, ​​between the April 15 and 21.

Nadal, against Thompson.JONO SEARLE (EFE)

However, everything is up in the air. Nadal does not want to take risks and that is why he ruled out forcing any risk to compete in Melbourne. Today, the Balearic player evolves between two realities: that of his tennis and that of his physique. The three matches played in Brisbane gave a sense of hope, as he managed to show that he could return to his level of play fairly quickly; He easily beat Dominic Thiem and Jason Kubler and forgave three match points against Thompson. But, at the same time, this last impulse reflected that his body still could not withstand harder commitments and that, logically, he needed a higher break-in phase.

The next quarter will be crucial. During a meeting with this newspaper, in mid-December in Kuwait, the athlete declared that he would arrive at Roland Garros already knowing whether 2024 will be his last active year or not. The two victories won during his return to school allowed him to make a notable jump in the rankings ranking of the ATP, from 672nd to 451st, but the circumstances are complex and Nadal, he says, accepts them. He will stop again, but will return to the fray to say goodbye on the track. Since the double success of 2022, where he conquered Australia and Roland-Garros, he has missed four of the seven major tournaments organized; During the three matches he played, he suffered a physical accident.

With this latest strikeout, he now has 16 that he has lost in his 22-year career in the elite due to injury.

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