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Rafael Nadal Withdraws from Australian Open

Rafael Nadal has pulled out of the Australian Open after suffering a small tear to the muscle near his hip. Photo by Frey/TPN/Getty Images

The Australian Open is over before it began for Rafael Nadal.

Former world No. 1 Nadal withdrew from the Australian Open after suffering  a microtear to a muscle near his hip in his three-hour, 25-minute Brisbane loss to Jordan Thompson.

“During my last match in Brisbane I had a small problem on a muscle that as you know made me worried,” Nadal posted on social media. “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 exigence in 5 sets matches. I’m flying back to Spain to see my doctor, get some treatment and rest.”

The 22-time Grand Slam champion said his Brisbane performance made him feel “happy” and “positive” as he aims to continue what may well be his farewell to the pro tour.

Nadal failed to convert three match points against Thompson.

Trailing 1-4 in the final set, Nadal took a medical timeout for treatment of his hip. Nadal underwent surgery on his hip last June 2nd.

Following treatment, Nadal returned to court to complete a 5-7, 7-6(6), 6-3 loss to inspired Aussie Thompson at the Brisbane International.

Thompson, who partnered compatriot Max Purcell to beat Nadal and his coach Marc Lopez in his Brisbane doubles opener, fought off three match points in the second set prevailing in a punishing three hour, 25-minute win.