Added by Gary Dunn on December 28, 2012
Rafael Nadal announced on Friday he is withdrawing from the 2013 Australian Open Championships as a result of a stomach virus that has slowed healing of a left knee injury, received six months ago.
The withdrawal from the 2013 Australian Open follows his withdrawal from the London 2012 games, the US Open, and an exhibition tournament in Dubai.
Nadal’s stomach virus, he said on his Facebook page, prompted doctors to advise him to rest while he recovers.
“It was a difficult decision and I am extremely disappointed to be missing such a great event,” said Nadal, adding, “You need your body to be at is best for the Australian Open.”
Nadal commented his focus is on trying to get back on tour with the possibility of competing in the Alberto Mexicano Telcel tournament in Acapulco, Mexico that begins on February 25.
“My knee is much better and the rehabilitation process has gone well…but this virus didn’t allow me to practice this past week,” said Nadal of his injury.
Nadal suffered tendonitis, a painful inflammation of tendons, in his left knee after the second round of the 2012 Wimbledon in June.
The 2013 Australian Open runs in Melbourne from January 14 to 27. The Australian Open, held annually since 1905, is considered the first of the four annual Grand Slam tournaments with the three that follow being the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.
Nadal is currently ranked number four by the Association of Tennis Professionals – Nadal previously held the number one ranking for singles players in 2008 and 2010. Novak Djokovic is ranked at number one as of the end of 2012.
Tennis is the world’s fourth most popular sport with over one billion players around the world. There are many benefits to tennis including health benefits, social benefits, as well as benefits to the overall economy.
Caption: Rafael Nadal announced his withdrawal from the 2013 Australian Open, following his withdrawal from other tournaments, as he recovers from a stomach infection and knee injury.