Rafael Nadal suffers Australian Open setback after difficult conversation before flying ou
Rafael Nadal reacts to winning the French Open title
Rafael Nadal will have to head into the Australian Open without his top coach for the first time since 2016 after the two held conversations this week. The Spaniard is set to fly out to Adelaide this week before being put into quarantine for two weeks.
Most players will be travelling to Melbourne, but Nadal is part of a group of tennis stars will head to South Australia instead due to hotel rooms for international players and coaches nearing capacity.
Close to 1,200 people will be travelling to Australia for the first Grand Slam of the year with strict guidelines in place for how many staff players are allowed to bring with them in their bubble.
In total, 50 people will travel to Adelaide including top players such as Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams.
But Nadal will be heading Down Under without a significant member of his backroom team.
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Carlos Moya took over coaching duties from Toni Nadal back in 2016 and the pair have developed a close working relationship over the years.
However, the Spanish coach has taken the decision not to travel to Australia due to the “delicate situation” in Spain amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“After speaking with Rafa, we have decided that I won’t travel to Australia with the team,” Moya announced.
“My intention was to be with the team from the beginning of the Australian Open as usual but the Australian government is not authorising separate travelling and arriving at the beginning of the tournament.
“I will follow the tournament from home and will stay with my family, parents and kids due to the delicate situation that Spain is living with the virus. Best of luck to the teams travelling.”
As part of the agreement with South Australia to host 50 players, an exhibition event has been organised to take place on January 29 featuring the top players from both the men’s and women’s draw.
Dubbed ‘A Day at the Drive’, the event willl include eight of the world’s best players.
Williams, Nadal, Djokovic, Simona Halep, Dominic Thiem and Naomi Osaka have all been confirmed to play with two additional, unnamed players yet to be announced.
Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley has come under criticism from some players for favouritism towards the top-ranked players though.
Frenchman Jeremy Chardy believes those quarantining in Adelaide will have certain benefits that players in Melbourne won’t receive.
“This announcement for the top threes is a bit out of the blue, and it’s weird, to put it mildly,” Chardy French publication L’Equipe.
“They will even be able to benefit from a gym at the hotel and will be able to do their exercises, which will not count towards the five-hour quota.
“Everyone can go out. They will almost be able to live normally.”
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