Rafael Nadal is reportedly set to take part in the Australian Open 2022 after recovering from COVID-19. However, according to News Corp, the 20-time Grand Slam Champions arrival date is still to be confirmed. The Spaniard returned to action at the 2021 Mubadala World Tennis Championship in December after a 4-month injury break. But a COVID-19 infection after the tournament cast doubts over his plans for the 2022 season. Andrey Rublev, Denis Shapovalov, Ons Jabeur and Belinda Bencic also picked up the virus after competing in the Abu Dhabi exhibition.
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Although there were doubts over Nadal’s participation in the first slam of the year, Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley eased those concerns last week, saying he was “confident” Nadal would recover in time after speaking with his team.
The Spaniard had signed on to play at the ATP 250 event in Melbourne, which is scheduled to be held from January 3-9, followed by the Australian Open beginning on January 17. Recent reports suggest that he would participate in both the tournaments. The Melbourne Summer Set will be a warm-up for the Australian Open.
Nadal completed a hard-hitting session on Wednesday with promising teenage countryman Daniel Ricon and the recent video suggested that the 35-year-old has recovered from the infection and is getting ready to challenge for a record 21st Grand Slam title. A few days ago, Nadal had announced on Instagram that he was working on his fitness so that he could recover in time for the 2022 tennis season.
Roger Federer has already withdrawn from the grand slam event with an injury and Novak Djonkovic’s participation is still not clear as the Serbian has not revealed his vaccination status. Therefore Nadal’s arrival would be a major boost for the organisers. The big three are tied on 20-grand slam titles.
If the Spaniard is participating in the Melbourne Summer Set, he will be the No. 1 seed. World No. 26 Reilly Opelka and World No. 28 Grigor Dimitrov are some of the other top players taking part in the competition.
The event will be held at the hardourts of Melbourne Park, the same venue as the 2022 Australian Open. The Summer Set also includes two WTA 250 events in addition to the ATP250 event..