WATCH: ‘Here I am’ – Rafael Nadal takes to court in Melbourne
Following a Covid scare before leaving for Australia, Rafael Nadal is now safely in Melbourne and has already taken to the practice court.
The 20-time Slam champion tested positive for Covid immediately after playing the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi in mid-December.
Now, after completing the necessary self-isolation period, Nadal is on the ground in Australia ahead of his return to competitive action.
The Spaniard will play the Melbourne Summer Set, an ATP 250 tournament beginning 4th January, as the top seed.
Nadal posted an update on Twitter from Melbourne Park, the grounds of the Australian Open, before footage of him hitting on court surfaced elsewhere.
🤫 Don’t tell anyone…
… here I am 😉 pic.twitter.com/x1F2BJnH3y
— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) December 31, 2021
Rafael Nadal’s practice today in Melbourne (via Benito Perez-Barbadillo IG Stories) pic.twitter.com/Xi8GoU8MdF
— Tanika (@SitTanyusha) December 31, 2021
Nadal last played on the ATP tour in August, at the Washington Open, where he lost in the third round to South African Lloyd Harris before ending his season due to injury.
That same injury, in his left foot, has plagued Nadal throughout the majority of his career, with the 35-year-old admitting he is still managing it during the Australian swing.
Looking ahead to the Australian Open on 17th January, Nadal will be looking to hit the ground running at his least successful Slam, the only Major he has not won at least twice.
The Spaniard has triumphed in Melbourne just once in 2009, and has since reached four finals, losing to Novak Djokovic in 2012 and 2019, Stan Wawrinka in 2014 and Roger Federer in 2017.
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