Rafael Nadal withdraws from Australian Open with muscle tear

Rafael Nadal
Photo by Icon Sport

Rafael Nadal has regrettably pulled out of the Australian Open following an injury sustained during the Brisbane International tournament. Nadal’s exit occurred after a loss to Australia’s Jordan Thompson, prompting concerns regarding his future on the court.

An MRI in Melbourne confirmed a “micro” muscle tear, situated in a different area from his previous injury, which brought temporary relief to the player.

The setback occurred during the final set of his quarterfinal loss to Thompson, prompting an injury timeout. Nadal struggled to move to his backhand side thereafter, raising concerns about the 37-year-old’s condition. In the aftermath of the match, Nadal hinted at uncertainties regarding his Australian Open participation.

Nadal’s hopes of participating in the slam he triumphed in back in 2022 have now been dashed, amplifying speculation about his future in the sport. It is worth noting that the professional needed nearly a full year to recuperate from a hip injury that necessitated surgery in 2023, adding to concerns about his physical condition.

Nadal withdraws from Australian Open

The tennis star announced his withdrawal on X, revealing that an MRI in Melbourne confirmed a “micro” muscle tear. Recognizing the potential implications, the 37-year-old acknowledged that his participation in the Australian Open was uncertain and that he would swiftly return to Spain for immediate treatment.

Taking to social media, Nadal shared his disappointment with fans, acknowledging his apprehensions about the muscle issue.

“During my last match in Brisbane I had a small problem on a muscle that as you know made me worried. Once I got to Melbourne I have had the chance to make an MRI and I have micro tear on a muscle, not in the same part where I had the injury and that’s good news.

Right now 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,” Nadal shared.

Nadal conceded that, given his current recovery stage, competing in best-of-five-sets matches at the Australian Open was beyond his capabilities. Nonetheless, he maintained an optimistic outlook.

“I have worked very hard during the year for this comeback and as I always mentioned my goal is to be at my best level in 3 months.

Within the sad news for me for not being able to play in front of the amazing Melbourne crowds, this is not very bad news and we all remain positive with the evolution for the season.

I really wanted to play here in Australia and I have had the chance to play a few matches that made me very happy and positive,” the Spaniard added.

The silver lining in this unfortunate situation lies in the fact that the tear is unrelated to his previous year-long injury, offering some semblance of relief to both Nadal and his supporters. Notably, before his departure from the Brisbane International tournament, Nadal achieved victories against Dominic Thiem in the first round and Jason Kubler in the second round, underscoring his determination and previous success on the court.

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