Nadal raises concern after suffering injury in loss in Brisbane

BRISBANE.- Rafael Nadal is worried about his surgically repaired left hip, after two wins and one loss in his return from a nearly year-long absence due to injury, just over a week before the start of the Australian Open.

The winner of 22 Grand Slams needed a medical timeout in the third set of their quarterfinal loss at the tournament Brisbane International versus Jordan Thompson on Friday, after failing to convert three match points in the second set.

He missed a backhand on his first match point in the tenth game of the second set, about two hours into the match. He then missed consecutive forehands from 6-4 in the tiebreaker before Thompson, number 55 in the rankingwill recover to win 5-7, 7-6 (6), 6-3.

Sad at this moment because I had many opportunities”Nadal said. “I didn’t play badly, but I was one point away.”

With the beginning of Australian Open On January 14, Nadal’s rehabilitation from the hip injury and surgery that kept him off the court for most of 2023 will be put to the test.

Regarding the injury, Nadal said he felt it was a muscle issue rather than the tendon that caused him so many problems last year.and that I was hoping that it was just fatigue and that I would be fine.

Many things can be happening in a body like mine after a year without playing tennis“Nadal said. “Hopefully it’s just that, overworked muscle. If that’s the issue, perfect.”

The 37-year-old Spanish tennis player opened his participation in the tournament with two straight-set victories over Dominic Thiem and Jason Kubler but was forced to play three hours and 25 minutes by Thompson in what was his third game in four nights.

I hope it’s not important and I hope to have the opportunity to train next week and play in Melbourne“, said. “Honestly, I’m not 100% sure of anything now.”

He said the pain was in “a very similar place to the one it had last year, but different”.

“I mean, I’m sure it’s not the same as last year because when it happened a year ago I felt something drastic immediately.“, said. “Today I didn’t feel anything. The only problem is that it is in the same place and one is a little more afraid than usual.”

Immediate effect for Nadal:

His energy level visibly dropped at the start of the third set. And after Thompson broke serve in the fourth game and then held a 4-1 lead, The doctor evaluated Nadal’s upper left leg.

He left the court for a medical timeout before returning and playing for another 20 minutes.

After sending a backhand long on match point to end the longest rally of the match, Nadal walked around the net to hug Thompson. He blew a kiss and waved to the crowd as he left the Pat Rafter Arena around midnight.

Thompson will face the second seed in the semifinals Grigor Dimitrovwho has already been champion of the Brisbane International.

The top favorite Holger Rune achieved a 6-2, 7-6 (6) victory over James Duckworth to get ready for their semi-final against Roman Safiullin, who surpassed Matteo Arnaldi 7-6 (4), 6-2.