ANDY MURRAY and Rafa Nadal are both OUT of the Brisbane International – but it’s worrying news for the Spaniard ahead of the Australian Open.
The British tennis star lost 7-5 6-2 to Russian world No16 Daniil Medvedev in the second round.
This was his comeback event on the road to recovery from injury and there were encouraging signs that his body is holding up to the rigours of top-level tennis. Of course, Murray has to accept losing to the type of players he was beating regularly during his pomp.
The world No240 – who fought back tears after beating James Duckworth yesterday – underwent hip surgery in Australia last January and played only six tournaments in 2018, the last in September.
Yet shortly before Murray exited the Brisbane event, Nadal announced he was withdrawing from the first ATP event of the 2019 season as an injury precaution.
Nadal, 32, said: “I did an MRI and it shows a small staring (sic) on my left thigh. I tried to play, I wanted to play, but recommendations from the doctors (were otherwise).
“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.
“So I don’t play here and I probably secure that I’m going to be 100 per cent for Melbourne. Everybody’s telling me that it’s not a good idea to increase the possibility to convert the strain into a bigger problem.”
The French Open champion says doctors told him there was a risk to further his injury if he did not it rest before the Aussie Open kicks-off in Melbourne on Monday January 14.
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Lucky loser Taro Daniel will replace him in the second round against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
The 17-time grand slam champion was due to play in his first ATP tournament match since pulling out of the US Open semi-final in September with an ongoing knee complaint.