Rafael Nadal knows what he needs on the 2019 ATP Tour

Rafael Nadal

World number two Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the 2019 Brisbane International after an MRI revealed a strain in his left thigh, an injury he picked up in Abu Dhabi last month.

Physical issues saw him miss a total of 10 tournaments last season, while he also withdrew from a third-place match at a tournament in Abu Dhabi just before the end of 2018. "I tried to play and I still wanted to play", ATP quoted Nadal, as saying. "I feel myself playing well, at a good level of tennis". "I need to try and find a way of working out how to get around some of the things I struggle with a little bit now".

Nadal said that he would not play in Brisbane because of a left thigh strain, prompting yet more fears over the 32-year-old's long term future in tennis.

The Australian Open starts January 14. I feel better than four days ago.

The 17-time grand slam champion was due to start his season with a second-round match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga but pulled out of the tournament on Wednesday.

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The 32-year-old Spaniard is set to take on the victor of the match between France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia on Thursday at the Brisbane International. Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev and Lucas Pouille all said that they will not play the one-week final stage this year, which means already three current top 10s are sidelined.

"But even like this I was able to find always a way to be competitive and to hold a good ranking to keep fighting for the things that made me wake up every morning with the love and passion for what I am doing", he added.

It continues a trend for Nadal, who withdrew or retired mid-match during all but one of his hard-court tournaments last season.

'I have great memories out here and of years playing great matches.

"I will probably be 100 per cent in five days".

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