One of the modern legends of tennis, Spaniard Rafael Nadal, is Australia-bound and on track to try to add to his 20 major titles at next month’s Australian Open.
The prospect that none of the Big Three – Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Nadal – could play in first grand slam event of 2022 has hovered ominously over the tournament.
But it has been confirmed that 35-year-old Nadal – who returned a positive test to COVID-19 after an exhibition event in the UAE this month – is heading Down Under.
Nadal is booked to fine-tune his Australian Open preparations in an ATP 250 event at Melbourne Park next week.
In equal first place with Djokovic and Federer on 20 major titles, Nadal has played in only one event since Roland Garros six months ago when the world No.6 lost to Djokovic in a classic and history-shaping semi-final encounter.
Federer is not playing the Australian Open after also skipping last February’s event, delayed and heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Djokovic’s participation in Australian events remains uncertain after it was confirmed late on Wednesday that the Serbian had withdrawn from the ATP Cup, starting in Sydney on Saturday.
More to come
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