Injury forces Rafael Nadal to withdraw from Brisbane International

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Injury forces Rafael Nadal to withdraw from Brisbane International

No. 1 seed Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the Brisbane International with a small staring on his left thigh. The 32-year-old was due to open his Brisbane campaign from the round-of-16 against French Jo Wilfried Tsonga. The Spaniard wanted to play but the doctors' recommendation was to skip Brisbane.

Nadal, ranked at No. 2 in the world, debuted in Brisbane two years ago in 2017 -- when he reached the quarter-final. The Spaniard has now picked back-to-back Brisbane withdrawals as he also pulled out of the event a year ago.

"I did an MRI and it shows a small staring on my left thigh. I tried to play, I wanted to play, but recommendations from the doctors (were otherwise)," Nadal said, per the Brisbane International Twitter account. Nadal also underlined that he doesn't want to risk anything and potentially further his injury as he hopes to be ready for the Australian Open.

The Spaniard played one match at last week's Mubadala World Tennis Championship -- where he lost to South-African Kevin Anderson. "It's a small thing that can become a much bigger... when you compete the intensity on the muscle it can get worse.

I feel better than I did four days ago... It's a risk to damage my body for one month if I play here," Nadal added. Nadal will be replaced by lucky loser Taro Daniel. Also read: Alex de Minaur praises Alexei Popyrin, reflects on his win