Rafa Nadal was due to play his first match of the season on Tuesday when Spain met Australia in the ATP Cup, but decided to sit it out to nurse what he described as a ‘stiff lower back’.
I’m not in a terrible shape, but I’m not well enough to play Rafa Nadal
And it looked as if he was still to remain on the bench when they played their second Group B tie on Thursday against Greece which has now been ‘postponed’ due to a Covid-19 emergency bringing a 24-hour suspension of all the AO warm-up events being played at Melbourne Park.
Whether that postponement will provide him with enough time to alter his decision and face Stefanos Tsitsipas on Friday, will only become apparent on the day as he has said he is “not yet ready to play a match at the highest intensity” and is still receiving daily treatment on his stiff back.
Again, whether that will affect his participation at next week’s Australian Open, is another consideration.
“I’m not in a terrible shape, but I’m not well enough to play,” the Spaniard told Vamos de Movistar. “At the end of one of the practice sessions I felt it was getting stiff. I’m having daily treatment and trust things will improve in the next few days.
“I think I’m a bit better now, but I’m not yet ready to play a match at the highest intensity ’cause I’m not at my 100% and we need to see how things evolve day by day.”
He added: “The first objective right now is to try to recover as well as possible. I think I have had a good pre-season and I started this season with maximum enthusiasm, I trained well in Mallorca and Adelaide.”