Rafael Nadal out of Australian Open with new hip issue

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Rafael Nadal withdrew from the Australian Open on Sunday to seek treatment for a left hip injury.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion initially injured the same hip during the 2023 tournament in Melbourne and was sidelined the rest of the season following surgery.

He returned to tennis for the first time in almost a year this week at the Brisbane International and said after his quarterfinal-round loss to Australian Jordan Thompson that he felt discomfort in the same hip.

Nadal announced yesterday on social media that doctors in Melbourne ordered an MRI and found he had a “micro tear on a muscle, not in the same part where I had the injury and that’s good news.”

The 37-year-old said he is “not ready to compete at the maximum level” required in a major tournament.

“I’m flying back to Spain to see my doctor, get some treatment and rest,” he said.

“I have worked very hard during the year for this comeback and as I always mentioned my goal is to be at my best level in three months. Within the sad news for me for not being able to play in front of the amazing Melbourne crowds, this is not very bad news and we all remain positive with the evolution for the season.”

“I really wanted to play here in Australia and I have had the chance to play a few matches that made me very happy and positive. Thanks all for the support and see you soon!”

Nadal has said 2024 likely will be his last season on tour which has floated the possibility that he could change his mind.

If this injury takes no more than three months to mend, that would leave Nadal ready for the French Open, which begins May 28 in Paris. He won a record 14 titles on the clay courts of Roland Garros.