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Rafael Nadal announces he has COVID-19

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Virginia Whitehead
Virginia Whitehead
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(Madrid) Rafael Nadal announced, on Monday, that he has contracted Covid-19, a new blow to the world tennis star that threatens his preparation for the Australian Open, where he was due to return after a month of injury.

Thomas Perotto
France media agency

After returning from Abu Dhabi, where he participated in an exhibition tournament, Mallorcan revealed on Twitter that he “was declared positive during the PCR test conducted upon my arrival in Spain”.

“I’m having a bad time, but I hope to get better little by little,” added the 20 Grand Slam winner, 35, currently ranked 6th in the world, now “confined” at his home.

The player, who did not say whether he had symptoms or not, said he had warned “everyone who has been in contact with him”.

During the Abu Dhabi tournament, Nadal was notably photographed without a mask with the 83-year-old former King of Spain, Juan Carlos, who made a rare public appearance there while in exile in the United Arab Emirates on suspicion of embezzlement.

A royal palace spokesman told AFP that the former monarch was “fine” but that he would have a PCR test because of his contact with the player.

For his part, Nadal indicated that he would “show complete flexibility” with his “schedule” and that he would analyze the options according to his “development”. “I will keep you informed of any decision regarding my upcoming tournaments,” he added.

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brake in full return

The announcement is a blow to the former world number one, as it comes less than a month before the Australian Open where the Spaniard was due to sign his return to a Grand Slam.

The player has been absent since this summer due to an injury to his left foot, which made him miss Wimbledon and the US Open, but the player preferred not to show his ambitions in the first major tournament of the year, scheduled for January 17-30 in Melbourne.

In preparation for this tournament, the soon-to-be left-hander was scheduled to travel to Australia for the ATP 250 Championships in Melbourne from January 3-9.

The player suffers from Muller-Weiss syndrome, a degenerative disease that causes a deformity of one of the bones of the middle part of the foot.

In order to assess his physical condition, Nadal met the audience on Friday at the Abu Dhabi Exhibition Championship. He lost to Andy Murray and Denis Shapovalov.

The Australian Open will take place in the midst of a new wave of the COVID-19 pandemic across the world due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.

Australian authorities had warned well in advance of the tournament that all overseas players, their entourage and members of management must be vaccinated to be accepted into the country.

These rules raised doubts about the participation of Serbian world number 1 Novak Djokovic, who is resistant to vaccination. But Knoll, who refuses to officially disclose whether he has been vaccinated, appeared in the list of players announced for the upcoming Australian Open, which was published ten days ago.

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Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city, has seen a total of more than 260 cumulative days of confinement due to COVID-19, making it one of the longest-running cities in the world.

The Australian Open should also see the return of three other stars after several months of absence: world number one Ashleigh Barty, Naomi Osaka, formerly N. 1 of the WTA, as well as Gaël Monfils.

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