The Australian Open received a major boost when World Number 2 Rafael Nadal confirmed his participation in next year’s event. The Spaniard’s manager Benito Pérez-Barbadillo told journalists that his player will travel to Australia for upcoming the Australian Grand Slam.
The dates for the 2021 tournament are yet to be officially announced, with the originally planned 18th-31st January schedule turning out to be too early in light of the coronavirus pandemic. It is now widely anticipated that the event will begin on 8th February though the players are expected to fly into Australia between 15th-17th in time for a mandatory 14-day quarantine.
Nadal won the Melbourne showpiece eleven years ago beating Roger Federer 7-5 3-6 7-6 (7-3) 3-6 6-2 in one of the greatest finals of all time. The star tennis player has been able to reach the finals on four different occasions in 2012, 2014, 2017 and 2019.
His perennial rival Federer, though with whom Nadal shares a place at the apex of the tennis pyramid having won an equal twenty Grand Slams is yet to confirm his presence as he races against time to attain full fitness having undergone knee surgery twice this year.
Organisers and fans alike will be hoping he wins that particular race especially considering the fact that his 2020 season ended early with him missing Wimbledon, the US Open, and the French Open.
As it stands, it is now nearly a year since the Swiss stepped on the court for a competitive match with his last appearance to date being his semi-final exit from the Australian Open at the hands of Novak Djokovic.
Author: Timothy Ainebyoona
Timothy is a dynamic analyst passionate about news and all things sport.