BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Top-ranked Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the Brisbane International due to his "late start of preparation" for the new season.
Brisbane International tournament director Cameron Pearson said Thursday that "we received word of his withdrawal this morning."
The joint ATP and WTA tournament begins Sunday at Pat Rafter Arena.
Nadal, who pulled out of the ATP Finals in London after a loss to David Goffin in mid-November due pain in his right knee, had earlier tweeted: "I am sorry to announce I won't be coming to Brisbane this year. My intention was to play but I am still not ready after last year's long season and the late start of my preparation."
He later tweeted: "I will be seeing my Aussie fans when I land on the 4th (of January) in Melbourne and start there my preparation for the Australian Open."
Nadal had earlier pulled out of an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi scheduled for this week.
The Australian Open begins Jan. 15.
Andy Murray is also scheduled to play in Brisbane — his first tournament since July — but there has been media speculation that hip soreness might mean a delayed start to the season for the British former No. 1.