( December 28, 2012) Eleven- time major champion and current world No. 4 Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the Australian Open due to a continuing stomach virus.
The ailment caused Nadal to withdraw from this week’s World Tennis Championships in Abu Dhabi.
In a statement Nadal said:
“I am sorry and very sad to announce that I will not play in the Australian Open. 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.
“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.”
The Spaniard has been off the tour with a knee injury since losing in the second round of Wimbledon to Lukas Rosol in June.
Nadal is scheduled to compete in the Abierto Mexicano Telcel tournament in Acapulco which begins on February 25, 2013.
Karen Pestaina for Tennis for Tennis Panorama News.