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The acceleration of Nadal and the doubts of Djokovic: this is the uncertain start of 2022 for the two stars

The acceleration of Nadal and the doubts of Djokovic: this is the uncertain start of 2022 for the two stars

The Spaniard will also play doubles in the ATP 250 in Melbourne, after five years without doing it in a tournament on the circuit. The Serbian remains unconfirmed his presence at the Australian Open

Rafael Nadal, training in Melbourne.WILLIAM WESTAFP
  • Nadal “Don’t tell anyone … here I am”

The last time Rafael Nadal He played doubles on the ATP circuit in March 2017, at the Indian Wells Masters 1000. Then he did, just over two years ago, in the Laver Cup and in the Davis Cup Finals. The winner of 20 Grand Slam titles, already through the coronavirus he contracted during the Abu Dhabi exhibition, will not only contest the Melbourne ATP 250 in the individual draw, but, determined to acquire competitive rhythm as soon as possible, is also enrolled in the doubles, together with another Majorcan, Jaume munar. The unfortunate news of being touched by the pandemic in its unofficial reappearance created the logical doubts regarding its immediate future, but, once the mandatory quarantine was completed at home, it decided to respect the planned plans. Don’t tell anyone. I’m here, tweeted on the 31st the Spanish, with an image posing smiling in the central Melbourne Park.

Seeded number 1 and exempt from starting, Nadal will have as his first opponent the American Marcos Girn, 66, or to a player from the qualifying phase in which it will be his full-fledged return to the courts after losing in the second round of Washington’s ATP 500 against the South African Lloyd Harris, on August 7.

His prolonged absence from the courts was caused by Muller Weiss syndrome, a chronic foot ailment that reappeared in the Roland Garros semifinals against Novak Djokovic. In the Abu Dhabi gig I lost with Andy murray on December 17 and fell a day later before Denis Shapovalov. The marker, in these cases, was irrelevant. It was a matter of seeing how he evolved from his injury, which was intervened in Barcelona on September 11, without details of the treatment having been disclosed. The response was good and, in this second post-Covid reinstatement, the trainings, according to Australian media, are of remarkable intensity.

Nole’s vaccination

While Djokovic dropped out of the ATP Cup in Sydney and has yet to confirm his presence at the Australian Open, reluctant to meet the vaccination requirements, Nadal sharpens the racket for the first Grand Slam tournament of the season, where He achieved his only title in 2009. The Serbian, number 1 in the world and nine times champion of the tournament, will start as the top favorite to take the cup and thus reach his twenty-first major, with which he would break the equality he maintains with Nadal and Federer, but , two weeks from the start his participation remains unknown. Those responsible for the Australian Open are negotiating with the Victorian state authorities to grant him a medical exemption so that he can play without being vaccinated.

Although this year it is important to shoot beforehand, Nadal has not always needed a previous official tournament to face one of the priority objectives of each season. In the past year I lost with Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarterfinals without having been seen previously. In 2020 he fell against Dominic Thiem, in the same round, after playing the ATP Cup, and in 2019 he was overwhelmed by Djokovic in the final of the Australian Open, this being his debut tournament.

At 35, and waiting to calibrate his physical condition after the serious mishap that has kept him out of competition for five months, Nadal is clear about the initial section of his first roadmap and does not want to lose footing in that race that maintains with Djokovic and Federer. Unfortunately, little can be expected from the Swiss after his failed return last year and a new knee operation.

Nole, who played their last matches in singles and doubles against Croatia, in Madrid, in the Davis Cup, thus remains their only opponent in the passionate dispute. It will be necessary to see how both will resist the push of those who come, already made explicit by Daniil Medvedev at the US Open.

Reference from elmundo