- Nadal forced out of Australian Open with hip issue
- Injury sustained in Brisbane
- 22-time Grand Slam winner to return to Spain for treatment
Former World No.1 Rafael Nadal will not feature in the 2024 edition of the Australian Open. The Spanish superstar won the Australian Open in 2009 and 2022.
Nadal confirms absence
Nadal, the former World No.1 and 22-time Grand Slam title winner, has confirmed his absence from the 2024 Australian Open due to a hip injury sustained during the Brisbane International. The Spanish tennis icon, who secured victories at the Australian Open in 2009 and 2022, was making a comeback at the Brisbane tournament after nearly a year away from singles events.
Nadal faced a setback in the quarterfinals of Brisbane, losing to Australia’s Jordan Thompson in a challenging match that lasted 3 hours and 25 minutes. Following the defeat, Nadal expressed concerns about a fresh injury and, subsequently, announced his withdrawal from the Australian Open in a detailed statement on social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter). The statement read:
“Hi all, during my last match in Brisbane I had a small problem on a muscle that as you know made me worried. Once I got to Melbourne I have had the chance to make an MRI and I have micro tear on a muscle, not in the same part where I had the injury and that’s good news. Right now I am not ready to compete at the maximum level of excellence in 5 sets matches. I’m flying back to Spain to see my doctor, get some treatment and rest,”
Known for his dominance on clay courts and numerous achievements, Nadal had recently returned to professional tennis after a foot injury in 2022 and a hip flexor injury at the 2023 Australian Open. Despite facing setbacks, he managed to stage a memorable comeback at the 2022 Australian Open, defeating Daniil Medvedev in the final.
Coached by Carlos Moya, Marc Lopez, and Gustavo Marcaccio, the 37-year-old Nadal had played as a wild card in Brisbane, securing straight-set victories over Dominic Thiem and Jason Kubler. His withdrawal from the Australian Open comes as he hinted at the possibility of the 2024 season being his last year on the professional tour.
Nadal’s absence from the upcoming Grand Slam event will alter the tournament dynamics, even if a win may have been unlikely given the time he has had on the sidelines. Current World No.1 Novak Djokovic remains the favourite in Nadal’s absence, ahead of another Spaniard, Carlos Alcarez. At the time of writing, bet365 have Djokovic at 11/10, Alcaraz at 10/3 and Jannik Sinner at 13/3.
Nadal is still clearly capable of challenging for the Grand Slams. Such has his excellence on clay been that he is, at the time of writing, 3/1 third favourite for Roland Garros with Unibet, despite having had virtually a year out with injury. His compatriot, Alcaraz is favourite at 6/4, ahead of Djokovic, 15/8.
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