Nadal Roland Garros 2021

Rafael Nadal casts doubt over his Australian Open participation

Rafael Nadal has cast doubt over his involvement at the upcoming Australian Open, revealing “I can’t guarantee 100% that I will be there.”

20-time Grand Slam champion Nadal recently made his return at the Abu Dhabi Exhibition event. Nadal lost in straight sets to three-time Slam winner Andy Murray, but felt pleased with his overall performance in his first match after a five month absence.

Spanish legend Nadal also went on to lose against Denis Shapovalov 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 6-10 in the third-place play-off match.

Nadal suffered a foot injury at the Citi Open in Washington back at the start of August. After a lengthy spell on the side-lines, the Spaniard will miss the ATP Cup but is hoping to feature at the first Grand Slam of the season, the Australian Open.

Speaking to the press after the off-season tournament, Nadal said “the idea is to go there and try my best there in Australia… Being 100% honest, I can’t guarantee it. I need to speak with my team.

“It’s more than six months since the last real official match. Things are difficult and I accept that… I was able to compete in both matches and even had my chances, so if we put that in perspective it’s a very positive thing.

“I went through this process, unfortunately, a lot of times in my tennis career but I need to practice and I need to be healthy enough to go through this process. If that happens, I’m confident that I will be back.

“I need to think about it. We have time to make a decision. Let’s see. I can’t guarantee 100% that I will be there.

“I still believe that I will be competitive enough to give myself chances to compete for the things that I have been competing for the last 15 years.

“If not, personally it doesn’t make sense. I am not playing at all for money or just for fun, I am playing to keep achieving goals or at least to enjoy the process to try to achieve my goals. If then you don’t achieve, it’s fine, but the motivation and the passion is still there.”

Fellow 20-time Slam champion Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open participation is also doubtful as he is yet to reveal his Covid-19 vaccination status.

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.