Truth & Rumors > Tennis

Rafael Nadal withdraws from Australian Open

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04:19 PM ET 12.29 | Rafael Nadal has decided to withdraw from next month's Australian Open. Nadal was hoping to return to the tour after being sidelined by a near injury, but he has now been struck with a virus that will prevent him from competing in Melbourne. "I am sorry and very sad to announce that I will not play in the Australian Open," Nadal said. "My knee is coming along okay, but a stomach virus has left me unable to get ready in time to tackle the rigours of a Grand Slam. Because of the virus, I have been unable to get any match practice and simply would not be doing myself or my friends in Australia justice if I went down there so unprepared. You need your body to be at its best for the Australian Open," Nadal said. "It was a difficult decision and I am extremely disappointed to be missing such a great event. I love coming to Melbourne and playing on Rod Laver Arena before the Australian crowds. It brings out the best in me. It hurts to have to wait another 12 months before I get another chance. In the meantime, the focus is now on desperately trying to get back on the tour." The lack of preparation is a large part in why Nadal has decided to withdraw from the tournament and the folks at the Australian Open understand his decision. "It is completely understandable and we really feel disappointed for him," Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley said. "But without any match practice and without sufficient lead up time on the practice court, it makes it virtually impossible for him to get his body ready."

FanSided.com

Rafael Nadal, Miquel Benitez/WireImage Rafael Nadal, Miquel Benitez/WireImage
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January 3, 2013  07:01 AM ET

End of a great career coming

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January 24, 2013  12:48 PM ET

What's up with no new tennis threads in 3 weeks???

January 31, 2013  12:26 PM ET

I guess none of the interns are tennis fans :^(

March 19, 2013  12:44 PM ET

<------ Look thataway for new tennis threads.

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