Nadal confident for Australian Open despite Brisbane withdrawal

At 32, Rafael Nadal believes he has the experience to be competitive at the Australian Open without many matches under his belt.

Spanish star Rafael Nadal   -  Getty Images

Rafael Nadal insists his Brisbane International withdrawal will not have a detrimental effect on his challenge for glory at the Australian Open.

On Wednesday, the Spaniard confirmed he was pulling out of the ATP 250 event in Brisbane due to a small strain in his left thigh.

It is far from an ideal start to 2019 for the 17-time major champion, with the first grand slam of the year set to get under way in less than two weeks.

But Nadal believes he has the know-how to manage his game - even in the absence of significant time on court.

Experience holds the key

"My hope is to win the Australian Open, that's the hope always," he told a media conference. "I feel myself playing well, at a good level of tennis.

"I have experience, I have knowledge of these things happening. If that happens to me 10 years ago I probably tell you my chances are much less, because before I felt I needed matches and to be on rhythm to compete on a good level.

"That's not the situation today. I showed I can play very well without competing for a while."

Nadal was one of three high-profile names to exit the tournament on Wednesday, as Andy Murray and defending champion Nick Kyrgios also bowed out.