Home Australia Rafael Nadal not ‘100 per cent sure’ about Australian Open tilt after injury scare

Rafael Nadal not ‘100 per cent sure’ about Australian Open tilt after injury scare

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Rafael Nadal’s Australian Open preparations are up in the air after he experienced an injury scare in his upset three-set loss to Jordan Thompson at the Brisbane International.Rafael Nadal’s Australian Open preparations are up in the air after he experienced an injury scare in his upset three-set loss to Jordan Thompson at the Brisbane International.Rafael Nadal’s Australian Open preparations are up in the air after he experienced an injury scare in his upset three-set loss to Jordan Thompson at the Brisbane International.

Nadal was playing his first tournament in 12 months after his 2023 season was almost entirely wiped out because of a hip injury, which led to his shock second-round exit at the Australian Open last January.

The injury required surgery in June.

The 37-year-old first grabbed at his upper left leg late in the second set against Thompson on Friday night, then — at 1-4 in the third — left the court for treatment as the match went into its fourth hour.

He returned to finish the match, which Thompson won 5-7, 7-6 (8/6), 6-3.

Nadal is trying to stay hopeful that the injury concern amounts to nothing and that he will line up at the Australian Open, which begins at Melbourne Park on January 14.

But he admitted his fear, given the proximity of the soreness to the hip that was operated on.

“It is a very similar place to what happened last year, but different,” Nadal said post-match.

“I feel more muscle. Last year was tendon.

“For sure, it is not the same like last year at all because when it happened last year, I felt something drastic immediately.

“Today, I didn’t feel anything. The only problem is because the place is the same, you are a little bit more scared than usual.

“I hope it is not important and I hope to have the chance to be practising next week and to play Melbourne.

“Honestly, I am not 100 per cent sure of anything now.”

Nadal said it might have been caused by fatigue following back-to-back matches in Brisbane.

“A lot of things can be happening in a body like my body after a year without playing tennis,” he said.

“So hopefully it is just that, just a muscle that is supercharged … if that’s the thing, everything [is] perfect.”

Thompson will play second seed Grigor Dimitrov in the semifinal.

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