“Training before Christmas lunch!”, Tweets the official account of the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar. In the image, the world number two working on the track, maintaining the pace of preparation planned in preseason.
Nadal, 34 years old, would be in other circumstances looking towards Abu Dhabi, where he usually opens the campaign by playing an exhibition tournament. However, the coronavirus has changed everyone’s agenda, continues to destroy planning ATP Tour.
He Australi Opena, jewel in the crown of this sport at the beginning of the year, postponed its dates from January 18 to 31 to February 8-21, causing an absolute change from the traditional opening of the year. The Victorian Government kept the first Grand Slam of the season afloat, with some exception for tennis players but being inflexible in its own philosophy to keep the pandemic under control.
The ATP adapted the program according to the needs of a trip to Melbourne that implies a two-week quarantine in the hotel to be able to compete, with the exception of other visitors of being able to train daily at the facility that will host the Open.
Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem, champion and finalist of Australia 2020 respectively, have already indicated that they will finalize their preparation by contesting the ATP Cup by country, from February 1 to 5 at the Melbourne Park concentration headquarters. In a reduced format to 12 countries. Rafa Nadal has not spoken publicly about it, after having played it in its premiere in 2020, with a defeat in the final against Serbia.
They are Christmas parties, but the tennis players do not stop because they are at an important point in the preparation. They have more margin compared to the Open, but they competed little in 2020 and need to maintain the tone before the beginning of January-February 2021. Some, like Garbiñe MuguruzaThey will be in action already the first week of the new year; in his case, at the WTA in Abu Dhabi.
And Nadal applies alongside Carlos Moyà, entering the track, gaining ground as required by the hard-track tour. The marks on the ground clearly define where Rafa must move to take the initiative and do more damage to the rivals.