ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Rafael Nadal says he plans to take several weeks off after the Australian Open to recover from a nagging shoulder injury.
The 25-year-old Spaniard will take February off to rest and practice.
The second-ranked Nadal said the injury surfaced during the ATP Finals in London and he’s still “not 100 percent.” He said he made a decision three days ago to defend his title at the World Tennis Championships, a two-day exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi.
Nadal will play the winner of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and David Ferrer in the semifinals Friday.
Nadal is hopeful his shoulder would hold up in Abu Dhabi and in Doha where he plans to play at the Qatar Open, which begins Jan. 2.
The Australian Open starts Jan. 16.