Knee injury nearly ended Nadal's Australian Open
Rafael Nadal has revealed he considered pulling out of the Australian Open after suffering a knee injury ahead of his first round match against Alex Kuznetsov.
The world No. 2 showed little sign of impediment as he rolled past Kuznetsov in straight sets on Hisense Arena on Monday, but was wearing heavy strapping on his right knee.
The 2009 champion, who plans to take a month off after the Australian Open to recover from a shoulder problem, revealed after the match that he feared his Melbourne campaign may be over before it began after suffering a tendon problem.
"I was sitting on a chair in the hotel, I felt like a crack on the knee," Nadal told reporters after his 6-4 6-1 6-1 victory. "I stand up. I felt the knee a little bit strange. I moved the leg like this two times to try to find the feeling. After the second time, the knee stays with an unbelievable pain completely straight. I have no movement on the knee.
"I wasn't 100 per cent sure I would have a chance to play."
The Spaniard decided to play after an MRI exam showed no major damage, but he was not convinced he would survive the match.
"I started with a little bit of a scare at the beginning and nervous because I was really disappointed yesterday," he said. "But after the first 10 games I started to play with normal conditions.
"The best thing is I felt the knee very well. I really don't understand why everything happened, but I am really happy that today I was ready to play and I played a fantastic match."