Rafael Nadal says he is not ready to compete just yet having had a ‘long season’ and has withdrawn from the Brisbane International but intends to play at the Australian Open.
The world number one had already pulled out of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi this weekend.
“I am still not ready after last year’s long season and the late start of my preparation,” the 31-year old said.
The Australian Open starts on 15 January and Nadal, who was beaten by Roger Federer in a five-set epic in the 2017 final, is planning to arrive at the start of the month.
“I will be seeing my Aussie fans when I land on the fourth in Melbourne and start there my preparation for the Australian Open,” he said.
Meanwhile, Britain’s Andy Murray, who has not played a competitive match since July because of a hip injury, is still aiming to make his comeback in Brisbane next week as part of his own build-up to the Australian Open.
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