In an interview to a local media, the Brisbane International Tournament Director Cameron Pearson commented on the Rafael Nadal's withdrawal from the tournament where he was supposed to start his campaign on Thursday against the Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
It was Nadal's second consecutive withdrawal in the event after 2018. "I am really disappointed for Rafa", Pearson admitted. "I know how much he wanted to play in Brisbane. He said a couple of times he wanted to play and was hoping to be fit but unfortunately he just hasn't come up."
Nadal always takes big appearance fees to play ATP 250s and 500s and it clearly prevented the organizers from bringing other players in the field. But Pearson doesn't regret the decisions: "Injuries are part of the sport and it is well documented that Rafa has had injuries over time but he does everything in his power to be on the court", he said.
Nadal had required the organizers to play as late as possible in order to have more time to recover. He wanted to play, but doctors strongly recommended him not to do it. "He asked for a late start", added Pearson.
"For a person of Rafa's stature, we wanted to give him that opportunity. He wanted to play but medical advice said he shouldn't. He wanted to go against that but medical advice prevailed in this instance. He's practice fit but risks longer-term damage and be out for an extended break (if he played) and no one wants to see that."