Novak Djokovic said that sport needed "legend" Rafael Nadal to make another comeback after it was announced Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) that the injury-plagued Spaniard had withdrawn from his season-opening tournament in Brisbane. "I tried to play and I still wanted to play", ATP quoted Nadal, as saying. "But my main goal is to stay healthy, stay happy and try to play as long as possible".
"I showed myself that I can be playing very well without competing for a while", said Nadal.
He won his 11th title at the French Open and also emerged victorious at the Masters 1000 Monte Carlo, Rome and Toronto, but had to leave both the Australian and US Open due to injury. "I'll probably be 100% in five days", he added.
Aryna Sabalenka and Naomi Osaka are my favorite players on the WTA tour.
Nadal has now completed just one of the last 18 hard court events he has entered and now must be considered a major doubt for the first grand slam tournament of the year which begins in Melbourne on January 14.More news: Nasa rings in New Year with historic flyby of faraway world
Lucky loser Taro Daniel will replace Nadal in the second round against Tsonga.
The 32-year-old had surgery on his ankle in November to remove a loose intra-articular body and only resumed training three weeks ago.
"As you play up the levels, whether it's issues with your game, like if you're not serving as well or if you're not moving as well, the better players exploit that", Murray said.
"It's a waste to damage my body for one month if I keep playing here", said Nadal, who has spent lengthy periods on the sidelines because of injuries during his career.
"And was bad news for me that things were not the way that I planned, but coming back from a period of time outside of the competition and coming back from surgery, you know, there's always a chance that this kind of stuff happens".