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Nadal ‘not 100 per cent sure’ of Australian Open involvement after injury scare in Thompson defeat

Rafael Nadal is not “100 per cent sure” he will make the Australian Open after needing medical treatment during Friday’s gruelling defeat to Jordan Thompson at the Brisbane International.

Nadal breezed through the first two rounds in Brisbane upon his return to the court following a year on the sidelines, beating Dominic Thiem and Jason Kubler in straight sets to reach the quarter-finals.

It looked as though another routine success might follow in the last eight when he took Friday’s opening set 7-5, only for Thompson to rally for a 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 win in a three-hour, 25-minute epic.

Nadal failed to convert three match points in the second set, with home favourite Thompson clinging on before edging a tie-break, and the 29-year-old didn’t look back after breaking in the fourth game of the decider.

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More concerningly for Nadal, he required medical attention at 4-1 down in the final set, though he was able to carry on without appearing to be in obvious discomfort.

The 22-time grand slam champion had surgery on the psoas tendon in his left hip last June, having failed to recover from an injury he suffered five months earlier at the 2023 Australian Open.

Ahead of a tilt at the next edition of the Melbourne Park event this month, Nadal revealed his latest problem was in the same area, though he is hopeful it is not serious.

“I feel the muscle is tired,” he told reporters after the loss. “For sure it’s not the same as last year at all, because when that happened 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.

“I need to see how I wake up tomorrow morning. We have been talking these last days, talking about the positive things. That’s why I am not overly positive when I have been talking.

“I have been talking with a lot of precaution because I know after a year it’s difficult for the body to be playing tournaments at the highest level.

“When things are becoming more difficult, you don’t know how your body is going to react.

“I hope it is not important and I hope to have the chance to practice next week and to play Melbourne. Honestly, I am not 100 per cent sure of anything now.”

Thompson will now face second seed Grigor Dimitrov in the semi-finals on Saturday, while Holger Rune takes on Roman Safiullin in the other last-four matchup.

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.
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