Rafael Nadal pulls out of Brisbane International as he targets more rest ahead of Australian Open

The world No 1 aims to arrive in Melbourne on January 4 to start preparing for first grand slam of the year

FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2017, file photo Rafael Nadal of Spain plays a shot in his quarterfinal match against Milos Raonic of Canada at the Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane, Australia. Nadal has withdrawn from the 2018 Brisbane International due to his "late start of preparation" for the new season. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard, File)

World No 1 Rafael Nadal's ongoing knee injury has seen him pull out of the season-opening Brisbane International.

Nadal was forced to withdraw from the ATP World Tour Finals in November with the issue and he has been unable to sufficiently recover in the off-season.

The Spaniard was due to play in the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi this weekend but pulled out earlier this week and he has now cancelled his plans to play in Brisbane.

However, he hopes to be fit for the Australian Open in Melbourne where he lost in the final last year to Roger Federer and won the event in 2009.


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He said on Twitter: "I am sorry to announce I won't be coming to Brisbane this year. My intention was to play but I am still not ready after last year's long season and the late start of my preparation.

"I had a great time there and it was a great start to the month I spent in Australia.

"I will be seeing my Aussie fans when I land on the 4th in Melbourne and start there my preparation for the Australian Open."

British No 1 Andy Murray is due to play in the tournament as he embarks on his comeback from a hip injury.