30 Dec 2011

Nadal to take February off

2:03 pm on 30 December 2011

The world men's tennis number two Rafael Nadal plans to take several weeks off after the Australian Open to properly recover from a nagging shoulder injury.

Nadal suffered the injury before the ATP World Tour Finals in November and says he's still "not 100 percent".

The 25-year-old Spaniard only decided on Monday to defend his title at the World Tennis Championships, a two-day exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi.

Nadal will play the winner of a match between Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and David Ferrer in the semi-finals tomorrow.

He is hopeful his shoulder will hold up enough for him to win both the Abu Dhabi tournament for a third successive year, and next week's Qatar Open in Doha.

The Australian Open gets under way on January 16th, and Nadal says he wants to use February to rest and practice.