The 20 times grand slam champion arrived in Spain today after making his comeback, from injury, at an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi last week. Like Emma Raducanu, who was named BBC Sports Person of the Year, Rafa Nadal tests positive for Covid-19 after visiting the Middle Eastern country.
Nadal, who has hinted he may not be able to make the trip to Melbourne for next month’s Australian Open, said “I am having some unpleasant moments but I hope that I will improve little by little. I am now homebound and have reported the result to those who have been in contact with me.”
Nadal 35, who spent four months on the side-line with a foot injury, will feel unfortunate that his first appearance since the Citi Open in Washington in August will have ended this way. This year has been less than good for the tennis professional having been forced to pull out of Wimbledon, the Tokyo Olympics and the US Open.
Saying “It’s more than six months since the last real official match. Things are difficult and I accept that… I was able to compete in both matches and even had my chances, so if we put that in perspective it’s a very positive thing.
“I went through this process unfortunately a lot of times in my tennis career but I need to practice and I need to be healthy enough to go through this process. If that happens, I’m confident that I will be back.”
Saying he will need to speak to his team, Nadal said he cannot be sure that he will be back in time for Australia. Continuing he said he would not have returned to tennis if he did not feel he was competitive enough to challenge for the biggest titles in the sport.
“I am not playing at all for money or just for fun, I am playing to keep achieving goals or at least to enjoy the process to try to achieve my goals,” he added. “If then you don’t achieve, it’s fine, but the motivation and the passion is still there.”
Rafa Nadal tests positive is not the news the organisers in Australia will want to hear, nor his professional colleagues.
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