Rafael Nadal withdraws from Brisbane International with thigh injury

'I feel better than I did four days ago.

'I have great memories out here and of years playing great matches. "And I feel myself with very high motivation to compete and to play". "I tried to play, I wanted to play, but recommendations from the doctors (were otherwise)", Nadal said, per the Brisbane International Twitter account.

The world No 2 was told by doctors there was a risk to further his thigh injury and given he wants to dethrone Roger Federer at the Australian Open, the withdrawal now is essential to allow time to recover. "Everybody is telling me that it's not a good idea to increase the possibility to make the strain a bigger problem".

"I can't do my 100 percent. So if I don't play here, I probably secure that I'm going to be 100 per cent ready for Melbourne".

Nadal won the Australian Open in 2009 and would dearly love to add another title on the hardcourts of Melbourne.

The 17-time Grand Slam victor said he hadn't been anxious about the world rankings for the past two years.

Maria Sharapova beats Timea Bacsinszky in 1st round of Shenzhen Open
Once more, Bacsinszky claimed the first two games of the set, but Sharapova again broke back straight away. The players moved into a second-set tiebreak, where they traded minibreaks up to the changeover at 3-3.

Despite a curtailed season, Nadal managed to win five titles previous year, including a record-extending 11th French Open title that took his Grand Slam tally to 17.

With that kind of success, he said, he made a decision to focus on quality performances rather than quantity of matches and that means not playing with niggling injuries.

"My goal is just to be happy doing what I am doing and be competitive all the weeks that I am playing", he said.

And that means he plans to go into the first major of the year with only one exhibition match and a Fast4 appearance on top of his training program.

"Of course, I prefer to be number one than number two, and I prefer to be number two than number five, that's obvious", he added.

"The thing that I don't want to do is suffer more than what I did last year, because if you do (suffer injuries two) years in a row, that mentally kills you", he said.

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