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Rafael Nadal won’t play in Australian Open

This is a real pity.

Rafael Nadal, who had been off of the tennis tour since last July rehabbing from a serious knee injury, has withdrawn from the Australian Open – the first grand slam tournament of the year that begins in two weeks.

Nadal, the 2009 Aussie champion, is suffering from a stomach virus.

“My knee is much better and the rehabilitation process has gone well as predicted by the doctors,” Nadal said in a statement. “But this virus didn’t allow me to practice this past week, and therefore I am sorry to announce that I will not play in Doha and the Australian Open.”

“I always said that my return to competition will be when I am in the right conditions to play,” he said. “And after all this time away from the courts, I’d rather not accelerate the comeback and prefer to do things well.”

The former No. 1 player is now ranked fourth in the world. I didn’t give him much chance to win in Australia because of his lengthy time away but it’s still a big loss to the game where he is such a dynamic presence.

Still, there are other superstars by the names of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray who will pick up the slack!



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