Nadal not focused on top ranking

Injury forces Rafael Nadal to withdraw from Brisbane International

Injury forces Rafael Nadal to withdraw from Brisbane International

Spain's tennis star Rafael Nadal was forces to withdraw from Brisbane International in Australia after suffering a thigh strain.

Physical issues saw him miss a total of 10 tournaments last season, while he also withdrew from a third-place match at a tournament in Abu Dhabi just before the end of 2018.

"I still wanted to play", Nadal told reporters on Wednesday.

"I want to feel myself competitive every day that I am on court and I want to keep fighting for the things that really make me feel alive, for the things that motivate me. I showed I can play very well without competing for a while".

"So I will not (chase) the number one because it's not my main goal".

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

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"I had a good off season, as I said before".

The 17-time Grand Slam champion hasn't played a competitive match since September but says he is confident he will be ready to compete at the Australian Open, which starts on January 14 at Melbourne Park. "So if I don't play here, I probably secure that I'm going to be 100 percent ready for Melbourne".

Nadal is set to play his first competitive match since September when he faces either Thanasi Kokkinakis or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Thursday.

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The 32-year-old had surgery on his ankle in November to remove a loose intra-articular body and only resumed training three weeks ago. "I have to accept and keep going", Nadal, who had withdrawn from the tournament previous year as well, added.

"And was awful news for me that things were not the way that I planned, but coming back from a period of time outside of the competition and coming back from surgery, you know, there's always a chance that this kind of stuff happens".

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