• The world number one was forced to retire in the fifth set of his quarter-final against Marin Cilic.
  • But the injury is not set to disrupt his season and he remains on course to play the Mexican Open.

Rafael Nadal has escaped serious injury after being forced to withdraw from his Australian Open quarter-final against Marin Cilic, an MRI scan has revealed.

The Spaniard was trailing in the deciding fifth set when he called time on his campaign in Melbourne after receiving lengthy treatment on court.

Nadal later lamented the physical demands placed on players and confirmed he would be examined to learn the full extent of the injury.

The results of that scan have highlighted a hip problem that will keep the 31-year-old side-lined for the next three weeks. However, it is not expected to greatly impact on his upcoming schedule.

"The MRI showed a grade 1 injury of his Illiopsoas on his right leg (inner hip)," a statement from his management team read.

"He will be resting over the next days once back in Spain and will start with anti inflammatory physiotherapy.

"He will start his rehabilitation and pre-adaptation process to the tennis court in two weeks, starting progressively his training and practice.

"Three weeks is the normal time to totally recover and he will resume his tennis schedule as planned playing Acapulco, Indian Wells and Miami."

As in 2017, the 16-time grand slam champion is expected to play the Mexican Open, which starts on 26 February, before the first part of the American hard court season in Indian Wells and Miami.

The Mallorcan has therefore avoided missing any of the campaign, though he will be forced to watch-on as Roger Federer seeks to retain his title and claim a 20<sup>th major crown Down Under.

Federer, 36, needed just three sets to see off Tomas Berdych in the quarter-finals and book a meeting with grand slam semi-final debutant Hyeon Chung in the last four. Kyle Edmund and Cilic will contest the other last four clash.

In the women's draw, Simona Halep and Angelique Kerber will meet for a place in the final after each overcoming Karolina Pliskova and Madison Keys in straight sets in their respective semi-finals. Elise Mertens or Caroline Wozniacki await the winner in Saturday's [27 January] showcase.

Rafael Nadal
Nadal, the 2017 runner-up, pulled out with a hip problem in Melbourne. Getty Images