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Rafael Nadal reached the quarter-finals of the 2017 Brisbane International presented by Suncorp.

Nadal Delays Start To 2018 Season

Spaniard still planning on playing at the Australian Open

Rafael Nadal has been forced to withdraw from the first ATP World Tour tournament of 2018, the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp, which starts 31 December. The Spaniard announced on social media that he's still not fit to play after participating but eventually pulling out of the final two tournaments of the 2017 season – the Rolex Paris Masters and the Nitto ATP Finals – because of a right knee injury

“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,” Nadal said.

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The 31-year-old finished No. 1 in the 2017 year-end Emirates ATP Rankings for the fourth time, winning six titles, including two ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crowns – the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters and the Mutua Madrid Open – and two Grand Slams, his 10th Roland Garros and his third US Open.

Nadal was planning on making his second appearance in Brisbane after reaching the quarter-finals on debut in 2017 (l. to Raonic). “I had a great time there and it was a great start to the month I spent in Australia,” he said.

The Spaniard still plans to play the season's first Grand Slam, the Australian Open, which he won in 2009 and has reached the final of three times – 2012, 2014, and 2017. “I will be seeing my Aussie fans when I land on the fourth in Melbourne and start there my preparation for the Australian Open,” he said.

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