Nadal pulls out of Australian Open due to muscle injury

Rafael Nadal

New Delhi: Tennis fans were disappointed to learn that Rafael Nadal, one of the greatest players of all time, has withdrawn from the Australian Open 2024, the first Grand Slam of the year. The Spanish star, who has 22 Grand Slam titles to his name, suffered a minor muscle injury in his last match at the Brisbane International, where he lost to Jordan Thompson in a thrilling quarter-final.

Nadal announced his decision on social media, where he explained the nature of his injury and his plans to recover. He wrote on X, “Hello everyone, as you know I had a small problem with my muscles during my last match in Brisbane. Due to which I became very worried.” He added, “Once I reached Melbourne I got a chance to get an MRI done and I have a micro tear in one of the muscles, not in the same area where I got injured and that is good news. Right now I am not ready to play in five-set matches. I’m going back to Spain to see my doctor, get some treatment, and rest.”

Nadal’s injury occurred in a grueling match against Thompson, who upset the world number two in three sets, 5-7, 7-6 (8/6), 6-3. The match lasted for more than three hours and ended past midnight at Pat Rafter Arena. Thompson, who is ranked 54th in the world, showed remarkable resilience and saved three match points in the second set tie-break. Nadal, on the other hand, looked exhausted and struggled with his movement. He requested a medical time-out when he was down 1-4 in the third set, as he felt pain in his upper left thigh. He returned to the court, but could not stop Thompson from clinching the victory.

Rafael Nadal

Nadal’s withdrawal from the Australian Open is a blow to his fans and the tournament organizers, who were hoping to see him compete for his third title in Melbourne. Nadal has a history of injuries, especially with his knees, which have hampered his career at times. He had just returned from a two-month break after the US Open 2023, where he lost to Novak Djokovic in the final. He was aiming to surpass Djokovic and Roger Federer, who both have 23 Grand Slam titles and become the most successful male player in history. However, he will have to wait for another opportunity, as he focuses on his recovery and hopes to return to the court soon.