The No. 2-ranked Nadal, in Brisbane preparing to play his first competitive match since retiring from the U.S. Open semifinals last September, found some positives out of an injury-interrupted season that he wants to apply to this year.
He played the opening round at an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi last week, where he lost to South African Kevin Anderson, and gets his season proper under way in the second round of the Brisbane International on Thursday. I feel myself playing at a good level of tennis.
"I tried to play and I still wanted to play".
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In a press conference to announce his decision, the 17-time major champion said "I did an MRI and it shows a small staring on my left thigh".
Nadal won the Australian Open in 2009 and would dearly love to add another title on the hardcourts of Melbourne.
It continues a trend for Nadal, who withdrew or retired mid-match during all but one of his hard-court tournaments last season.More news: Cathay Pacific to honor premium tickets sold at steep discount in error
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The Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament of the year, starts January 14 at Melbourne Park.
The 32-year-old Spaniard is set to take on the victor of the match between France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia on Thursday at the Brisbane International.
"I will probably be 100 per cent in five days".
"My goal is just to be happy doing what I am doing and be competitive all the weeks that I am playing", he said.
"They say if I play here, there is a risk.to not have the chance to play Melbourne", he said in a statement.
"And was bad news for me that things were not the way that I planned, but coming back from a period of time outside of the competition and coming back from surgery, you know, there's always a chance that this kind of stuff happens".