An anguished Rafael Nadal suggested the schedule of the ATP Tour should be looked at after he joined a lengthy list of high-profile injured players and exited the Australian Open on Tuesday.
Nadal retired from his quarter-final against Marin Cilic at Melbourne Park, trailing 2-0 in the fifth set, having been significantly troubled by an injury to his upper right leg.
The world number one's exit from the year's first grand slam came 24 hours after an ailing Novak Djokovic - returning from six months out with an elbow problem - had looked short of full fitness in a straight-sets defeat to Hyeon Chung.
Andy Murray missed the tournament altogether after undergoing hip surgery earlier this month, while Kei Nishikori is another absentee and Stan Wawrinka only made the second round on his comeback from a lengthy lay-off.
"Somebody who is running the tour should think a little bit about what's going on," said Nadal in his post-match news conference. "[There are] too many people getting injured. I don't know if they have to think a little bit about the health of the players.
"Not for now that we are playing, but there is life after tennis. I don't know, if we keep playing on these very, very hard surfaces, what's going to happen in the future with our lives."
Nadal expects to provide an update on his fitness on Wednesday.
"I can't say [now] because I don't know [the extent of the problem]," he said. "It just happened 10 minutes ago and it is impossible to know.
"This type of injury is difficult to know immediately. We need to wait a couple of hours. Tomorrow [Wednesday] I am going to do a test, an MRI here, then we will know.
"It's high on the leg. But I don't want to lie. Tomorrow we are going to communicate what's going on after the MRI. It is not the moment to say what's going on or what's not going on because we really don't know and the doctor really doesn't know yet. It's better to wait just a few hours. Give me that time, and tomorrow afternoon we'll let you know."
Prior to Nadal calling for a medical timeout when he trailed Cilic 4-1 in the fourth set, there had been no sign of any physical problem for the Spaniard.
"I started to feel the muscle a little bit tired in the third, but [I was] playing normal, no limits, no limitation," he explained.
"Then in the fourth at one movement, one drop shot I think, I felt something. At that moment I thought something happened, but I didn't realise how bad, what was going on in that moment.
"In the fourth at one movement, one dropshot I think, I felt something. At that moment I thought something happened, but I didn't realise how bad, how bad was what's going on in that moment."— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 23, 2018
- Rafael #Nadal#AusOpen pic.twitter.com/k6onhOESIE
"[These are] tough moments. I'm a positive person, and I can be positive, but today is an opportunity lost to be in the semi-finals of a grand slam and fight for an important title.
"I don't want to say [there is] frustration, but it is really tough to accept, especially after a tough December that I had without having a chance to start in Abu Dhabi and then Brisbane [due to a knee injury].
"I worked hard to be here. We did all the things that we believed were the right things to do to be ready. I think I was ready."
|Barcelona 6 Girona 1: Suarez treble and Messi masterclass settle Catalan clash|
|Messi makes Girona 36th LaLiga victims to set new record|
|Nigeria demolish Rwanda in FIBA qualifying|
|Jonker shines but India still seal T20 series|
|Deeney ´not bothered´ after ending drought from open play|
|Tigers back to business after Hardaker departure|
|Championship Review: Fulham beat Wolves, Sunderland hold Boro in ill-tempered thriller|
|Lions bounce back to win, Schoeman leaves it late for Bulls|
|Russell eyes Six Nations title after inspiring Scotland to win over England|
|Watford 1 Everton 0: Stunning Deeney finish moves hosts six clear of trouble|
|Benitez rues missed chances as Newcastle lose two-goal lead|
|Heynckes ´can live´ with home Bayern draw|
|Ronaldo is a team player - Zidane hails Real Madrid star´s Benzema gesture|
|West Ham fans reference Hitler in protest at club´s owners|
|Dyche dismayed by decisions before Gabbiadini goal|
|Russell´s redemption comes as Scotland seal rare England win|
|Wagner impressed with Huddersfield´s commitment after vital win|
|No place like home for Schmidt as Ireland leave it late to sink Wales|
|Liverpool win had everything – Klopp enthuses over West Ham´s Anfield rout|
|Khachanov sets up Pouille final after Berdych upset|
|Dunk equals record for own goals in a single Premier League season|
|Chiefs return to winning ways in thriller|
|Real Madrid 4 Alaves 0: Ronaldo at the double as ´BBC´ delight|
|Burnley 1 Southampton 1: Gabbiadini grabs late leveller|
|Brighton and Hove Albion 4 Swansea City 1: Two-goal Murray helps end Swans´ unbeaten run|
|Bournemouth 2 Newcastle United 2: Hosts in thrilling fightback after Gayle double|
|West Brom 1 Huddersfield Town 2: Van La Parra and Mounie seal vital win|
|Liverpool 4 West Ham 1: Salah nets again as Reds climb to second|
|Svitolina retains Dubai crown as Kasatkina runs out of steam|
|Ill Neymar included in PSG squad for Le Classique|
|Bayern Munich 0 Hertha Berlin 0: Lewandowski´s run ends as leaders are held at home|
|Ireland see off Wales in Dublin thriller to stay perfect|
|Gattuso surprised by AC Milan´s growth since taking over|
|Lambert defends ´best goalkeeper in Britain´ Butland after own goal error|
|Stokes expected to face Black Caps|
|Mkhitaryan, Ozil potential excites Mertesacker|
|A-League Review: Perth Glory in dramatic win, Melbourne Victory end losing streak|
|Leicester City 1 Stoke City 1: Butland howler costs Potters|
|Matic insists Man Utd can still do ´big things´|
|Fisher´s birdie streak secures share of Qatar Masters lead|
|Chinese Super League transfer window makes Simeone ´uncomfortable´|
|Ingolstadt score bizarre tap-in after Duisburg goalkeeper goes AWOL|
|Allegri cautious over Dybala fitness despite Higuain injury|
|Napoli´s Zielinski better than De Bruyne, claims Boniek|
|Seven-try Crusaders beat Chiefs, Waratahs and Brumbies win|
|Mourinho predicts ´amazing´ period for Manchester United|
|Mears expects ´good England win´ at Murrayfield|
|Barcelona midfielder Rafinha hoping to seal permanent Inter move|
|EFL Cup final: Where do Aguero and Aubameyang rank among Europe´s elite?|
|Klaasen and Mulder get Proteas Test call to face Australia|
|Settled Salah demands Champions League qualification for Liverpool|
|England not polished article - Shaw|
|Dembele staying focused after ´genius´ praise from Pochettino|
|Spain survive scare, USA cruise in World Cup qualifying|
|Shapovalov moves into Delray Beach Open semis|
|Davis, Jokic star with huge performances|
|Alli doesn´t dive, says Hodgson|
|Timberwolves star Butler suffers knee injury|
|Penguins acquire Brassard in three-team trade|
|Verdasco ends Thiem´s Rio Open title defence, Monfils exits|
|Salah has world´s best left foot? Don´t forget Messi – Klopp|
|Pochettino: Vertonghen one of Europe´s best defenders|
|He hasn´t raised the bar – Wenger plays down Guardiola success|
|Woods stays solid as List, Lovemark lead|
|Cake and victory for birthday boy Pouille|
|Klopp ´really proud´ of Firmino after Holgate case dropped|
|Munster upset Warriors as Leinster crush Southern Kings|
|Bouchard ´vindicated´ after USTA settlement|
|Warriors fall to impressive Wolves, Saints stay perfect|
|Conte: Chelsea´s winning mentality can´t be questioned|