Its official! Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the Australian Open 2013. Nadal has been struggling to shake off a stomach virus for the past few months and it has meant he has been unable to train.
“I am sorry and very sad to announce that I will not play in the Australian Open,” the 2009 Australian Open champion said. “My knee is coming along okay, but a stomach virus has left me unable to get ready in time to tackle the rigours of a Grand Slam.
“Because of the virus, I have been unable to get any match practice and simply would not be doing myself or my friends in Australia justice if I went down there so unprepared. You need your body to be at its best for the Australian Open,” Nadal said.
“It was a difficult decision and I am extremely disappointed to be missing such a great event. I love coming to Melbourne and playing on Rod Laver Arena before the Australian crowds. It brings out the best in me. It hurts to have to wait another 12 months before I get another chance. In the meantime, the focus is now on desperately trying to get back on the tour.”