Nadal strained back while warming up for Australian Open final

by: Matt Cronin | January 26, 2014

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Rafael Nadal says he suffered a back injury during his warm-up for the Australian Open final that gradually grew worse throughout his four-set loss to Stanislas Wawrinka. Nadal took a medical time-out at the start of the second set. He returned to play, but could not move quickly and his service speed dropped measurably.

Nadal missed the 2006 Australian Open with a foot injury. He retired in the third set of the 2010 quarterfinals against Andy Murray with a knee injury. He suffered a hamstring injury in the 2011 quarterfinals against David Ferrer and hobbled his way through a straight-sets loss. Nadal missed the 2013 Australian Open with an injury.

“Is true that I was not very lucky and this is a tournament that is painful for me,” Nadal said. “Is a tournament that I love so much. Is a tournament that I feel the conditions are good for me, warm conditions that I like, good crowd. Court, is true that is faster than the previous ones. Normally we play in normal speed conditions that I like to play.

“So, yeah, is a tournament that I really had some troubles physically in my career and is something that is painful for me. But that's part of life. That's part of sport. Is not the end of the world. Is just another tough moment. Is not the first. I feel very lucky that I was able to enjoy much more happy moments than tough moments. At the end is a sport of victories. People remember the victories, don't remember the losses. For me is a tough one [against Wawrinka] because I felt that I was ready to compete well. But in a few weeks that's going to pass. I'm going to keep playing, going to keep training hard. A lot of people in the world have lot of very tough days. I am not this kind of person, so I feel very lucky.”

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