Rafael Nadal handed injury scare in Brisbane ahead of Australian Open

Rafael Nadal needed to receive medical treatment during Friday’s defeat (Picture: Getty)

Rafael Nadal had been handed an injury scare ahead of the Australian Open after his medical time out in Friday’s defeat to Jordan Thompson in Brisbane.

Nadal, a 22-time Grand Slam champion, has only just returned to the ATP Tour after almost 12 months ruled out with injury problems and subsequent surgery.

The Brisbane International is Nadal’s first event back and the Spanish legend booked his spot in the quarter-finals with wins over Dominic Thiem and Jason Kubler, looking in impressive form ahead of the first Grand Slam of the year.

Nadal looked set to register another straight-sets victory against Thompson when he brought up his first match point in the 10th game of the second set but he missed a backhand overhead.

The 37-year-old had two more chances in the tie-break but could not convert as Thompson claimed a 5-7 7-6 (6) 6-3 triumph in three hours and 25 minutes.

More concerning for Nadal is the fact that he looked exhausted in the third set and required a medical time out for treatment on his left thigh.

Nadal did not seem to move as freely following the break in play as he eventually lost out to his Australian opponent.


Rafael Nadal missed three match points in his quarter-final loss (Picture: Getty)

‘It is a very similar place to what happened last year, but different stuff, I feel [it’s] more muscle,’ Nadal said after the match.

‘Last year was tendon. I feel the muscle [is] tired. I mean, for sure 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.

‘In ideal world, I mean, is just the muscle supercharged after a few days of effort and a very tough match.

‘That’s will be the ideal thing, something that we know that can happen today. That is why I’m talking all the time that my goal is to try to be competitive in a few months.

‘From my side, [I am] happy the way that the week went. If that [injury] is not important, is a very positive week. If something is worse than what we want, then is not that positive.

‘But let’s wait. I mean, is not the day to talk about these kind of stuff. Is the day to be happy and to congratulate the opponent. Then the next couple of days, let’s see how I feel.

‘If I don’t feel well, then we are going to do a test and we going to check it. But today is the moment to be calm and to wait how I wake up tomorrow and after tomorrow, then let’s see.

‘I don’t know. I mean, I hope is not important and I hope to have the chance to be practicing next week and to play Melbourne. Honestly, I am not 100 percent sure of anything now.’

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