Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the upcoming Australian Open, citing a stomach virus as the main reason.
According to Nadal, the virus has slowed his recovery from knee tendonitis which has plagued the former World’s No. 1 in recent events. Nadal was forced to withdraw from the London 2012 Olympic Games and the U.S. Open this summer and lost in the second round at Wimbledon in July.
Nadal was priced at +700 to win the Australian Open, behind Novak Djokovic (+150), Andy Murray (+225) and Roger Federer (+500). Juan Martin Del Potro was behind him at +1,600.
"My knee is much better and the rehabilitation process has gone well as predicted by the doctors, but this virus didn't allow me to practice this past week," Nadal, who has won 11 Grand Slam titles including the 2009 Aussie Open, said in a statement Friday.
"Therefore I am sorry to announce that I will not play in Doha and the Australian Open, as we had initially scheduled."
The 2013 Australian Open runs from January 14-27 at Melbourne Park.
Odds courtesy of UWin.com.