Difficult in sports, the year does not end in the best way for Rafael Nadal on a personal level, after he announced on Monday that he has tested positive for coronavirus after his stay in Abu Dhabi to play two exhibition matches. There, the 35-year-old tennis player reappeared last Friday after almost half a year without competing, due to a chronic injury (Müller-Weiss syndrome) that has dragged on since the beginning of his career. Nadal played two games and also shared a conversation and a table (without a mask) with Juan Carlos I, who was once again seen in public on the tournament rostrum.
The House of the King transmits that the old Spanish monarch “is well and will soon undergo a PCR test”, and specifies that “the complete schedule of the Chinese Sinofarm vaccine was put on and then booster doses with the American one have been administered Pfizer ”, reports Miguel Gonzalez. The statement is unusual, since the Casa del Rey has not reported on matters related to Juan Carlos I, who left Spain in August 2020, for months.
The tennis player, for his part, announced the news through social networks. “Hi all. I wanted to announce that on my return home after playing the Abu Dhabi tournament I have tested positive for covid after the PCR test that was performed on me when I arrived in Spain, “said the champion of 20 grand, who before competing in the emirate – where he was accompanied by his father Sebastià, his wife María, his sister Maribel, his physio Rafael Maymò and two of his three technicians, Carlos Moyà and the recently joined Marc López – he made a brief stopover in Kuwait to promote his academy and continue filming with face to his return to the competition.
“Both in Kuwait and Abu Dhabi we passed controls every two days and all were negative, the last being on Friday and having the results on Saturday. I am having some unpleasant moments, but I hope that I will improve little by little. Now I am confined at home and I have informed the results to the people who have been in contact with me ”, adds the tennis player from Manacor, who has not played a game since he fell on August 6 against Lloyd Harris in the Washington tournament.
It has not been a kind course for Nadal, affected by an injury that has cut him short since his loss to Novak Djokovic in the Roland Garros semi-finals. From there, the pain in his foot – “I am suffering much more than necessary,” he explained – increased and in August he was forced to stop abruptly. He had already had to give up Wimbledon and the Tokyo Games, and later he could not parade to the US Open or the Davis Cup either.
Hi all. I wanted to announce that on my return home after playing the Abu Dhabi tournament, I have tested positive for COVID in the PCR test that was performed on me when I arrived in Spain.
— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) December 20, 2021
After visiting a clinic in Barcelona to undergo treatment and a period supported by crutches, the Balearic Islands completed the rehabilitation and subsequently resumed sports walking in October, with a progressive training whose objective was none other than to start 2022 in optimal conditions. after another forced parenthesis in his career.
The first rehearsal was at the Zayed Sports City International Tennis Center in Abu Dhabi, where on Saturday he met with his friend Juan Carlos I – with whom he shared a meal with his coach, Moyà, according to photographs published by the newspaper The world– and returned to the track. In his reappearance he lost against Scotsman Andy Murray and in the second date, against Canadian Denis Shapovalov, he fell again. In any case, in this second meeting the relevant thing was not the score, but a couple of gestures in the final stretch of the pulse in which he hinted at some discomfort in the foot.
A priori, Nadal was going to disembark before the end of the year in Melbourne to participate in a preparatory tournament – ATP 250 category, from January 3 to 9 -, with a view to testing himself again and determining if he could finally compete in the Australian Open ( from 17 to 30). If his participation was in the air – “I cannot guarantee my presence one hundred percent, at this point I must weigh each movement carefully,” he said three days ago – now questions are added to the possibility that he will travel to the antipodes.
“As a consequence of the situation, I have to have total flexibility with my calendar and I will analyze my options depending on my evolution. I will keep you informed of any decisions about my future tournaments. Thank you all in advance for your support and understanding ”, concluded in the message issued this Monday the Spaniard, who is fighting with the Swiss Roger Federer and the Serbian Djokovic for the Grand Slams record, all three today with 20.
In any case, the setback would not prevent Nadal from entering Australia, since he has already been vaccinated and the regulations of the oceanic country allow the passage to those who have overcome the virus.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.