Rafa Nadal has amazed his fans and announced that he intends to play at the Australian Open 2022 after a long break with injury.
The 20-time grand slam champion skipped the Olympics in Tokyo and Wimbledon in an attempt to get back in full shape ahead of the US Open.
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However, after a shock loss to Lloyd Harris at the Washington Open, Nadal withdrew from the US Open and announced he would take the rest of 2021 free due to a foot injury.
After being quiet with his progress, Nadal thrilled fans after confirming he would play in the World Tennis Championship next month.
This signals his intention to play at the Australian Open next year.
“My plan is to play Abu Dhabi in December and then in a tournament before the Australia and then the Australian Open,” Nadal said.
“That’s my goal.
“We are working hard to make it happen.
“The injury in my foot still needs to get a little better, but I already train for almost an hour and a half a day, so that is positive.
“Some days are better than others, but I’m starting to have a lot more positive days than negative ones.
“So I’m on the right track. I’m training, I’m feeling better. I’m back on the field.”
Fans were rightly excited about the announcement.
While Nadal has signaled that he intends to go after a 21st grand slam, Novak Djokovic has not committed to the Australian Open yet.
Novak Djokovic is awaiting the Australian Open decision
The debate has raged for weeks over whether unvaccinated tennis stars will be able to take part in the Australian Open next year when the country opens its borders.
After a leaked email sent to WTA players, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed unvaccinated players would be free to contest the grand slam if they completed two weeks in harsh quarantine.
However, Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews slammed the door, and insists – like unvaccinated fans – that players who are not offended would not have access to Melbourne Park.
This has prompted Novak Djokovic will approach his fans and confirm that he will wait for more details on restrictions before deciding to travel to Australia.
However, Djokovic said it was not just him who weighed his participation.
“Well, I will decide whether I go to Australia or not after seeing the official statement from Tennis Australia,” Djokovic said ahead of his Paris Masters campaign
“Right now we have no official announcement or statement. So until it’s out, I will not talk about this anymore, because I will not be a part of the stories about the assumptions and what if.
“When the official condition requirements for traveling to Australia and playing in Australia are out, then of course I will see what I personally do with it, and also the larger group of players you know, for the situation is obviously different in Australia than the most parts of the world. “
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