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World number four Rafael Nadal will not participate at next month’s Australian Open after being forced to withdraw due to a stomach virus.

The 2009 Aussie Open champion had only just recovered from a knee injury that had sidelined the 26-year-old for six months – since his second round defeat at Wimbledon in June.

Nadal said in a statement his knee was much better but the virus has prevented him practicing during the past week and that doctors have advised a week’s rest without any sport.

The Australian Open begins on January 14th in Melbourne.

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