It hasn’t been a good day for the British contingent competing at the Brisbane International in preparation for the Australian Open which kicks off on January 14.
"I feel better than I did four days ago... It's a risk to damage my body for one month if I play here Rafa Nadal
Having seen the women eliminated in their draw, Wednesday also witnessed the exit of both Andy Murray and Kyle Edmund, leaving the singles events bereft of British representation.
After 81-minutes Murray lost 7-5 6-2 to Daniil Medvedev the 4th seed from Russia, who is amongst the vanguard of the ‘Next Gen’ who should be making progress this coming season.
The Scot, a former Brisbane champion and world number one, playing with a protected ranking in view of his injury problems last year, couldn’t repeat the success of his opening round.
He held his own during the first set but the Russian’s power eventually swung the match in his favour
Medvedev blasted 16 aces and dropped just 14 points in 10 service games, getting broken once but doing more than enough on the return to control the match and putting pressure on the Murray serve.
Earlier in the day, British number one Kyle Edmund, the third seed, suffered a shock defeat to world number 185 Yasutaka Uchiyama failing to convert two set points in the opening set.
Having been given a bye in the first round, he lost 7-6(6) 6-4 to the Japanese qualifier.
Uchiyama will now play Jeremy Chardy who ousted the defending champion Nick Kyrgios 6-7(5) 6-2 6-3 in what is the 10th event that the Australian has failed to reach the last eight. As a result Kyrgios will drop out of the top 50 when the rankings are updated on Monday and could well not be seeded for Melbourne.
The big problem though, and a worry for Melbourne, is the news that Rafa Nadal has withdrawn from the Brisbane International having picked up a thigh injury during an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi.
AS the top seed he was due to kick off his season with a second round match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, but while he wanted to play, he as been advised against it.
“I did an MRI and it shows a small strain in my left thigh. I tried to play, I wanted to play, but recommendations from the doctors (were otherwise)” Nadal said, adding that the doctors told him there was a risk of further injury if he played and he wants to be fir for the Australian Open.
“It’s a small thing that can become a much bigger… when you compete the intensity on the muscle it can get worse,” he pointed out. “I feel better than I did four days ago… It’s a risk to damage my body for one month if I play here”
Lucky loser Taro Daniel replaces him in the draw.