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Nadal expects to be 100% fit for Australian Open

Rafael Nadal remains confident he will be “100 per cent” ready for the Australian Open after withdrawing from the Brisbane International with a thigh strain.

Following an MRI scan earlier this week, the Spaniard has taken advice from his personal doctor to avoid worsening the injury.

“It’s a very small thing, but can become a big thing, because a strain in the muscle is dangerous,” said Nadal.

“When you increase the intensity on the muscle competing, then there is a big risk to make something bigger. And today it’s not big. I feel better than four days ago.

“So the normal improvement is I will be practising. Probably I’m 100 percent in five days.”

Nadal, a 17-time Grand Slam champion, won the Australian Open in 2009 and remains confident he can challenge once again at Melbourne Park.

“My hope is to win the Australian Open,” said the 32-year-old.

“That’s the hope, always. The situation, I can’t tell you. We’ll see how the things improve. And being honest, I feel myself playing well. I feel myself playing at a good level of tennis. And I feel myself with very high motivation to compete and to play.

“And was terrible 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 a surgery, you know, there’s always a chance that this kind of stuff happens. It happened in Abu Dhabi.

“But I really believe that I will be 100 percent ready for Melbourne.”

And Nadal spared a thought for the Brisbane fans, who will not get to see him in action this week.

«Of course, it’s very tough for me to be here,» he said.

«As I said before, and especially for the tournament, especially for the fans, that this is the second year that they don’t going to have the chance to watch me play here.

«But no doubt that the person that is more affected and the person that suffers more in this situation is me.

«So very sorry to everybody. Thank you very much to all the tournament for understanding.»

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