Spain’s Rafa Nadal tests positive for Covid-19

Spain's Rafael Nadal reacts during his semi-final match against Britain's Andy Murray in the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in the Gulf emirate of Abu Dhabi
Nadal had been due to fly to Melbourne later this month to compete in an ATP event ahead of the Australian Open.Photo: Giuseppe CACACE / AFP
Spanish tennis superstar Rafael Nadal said Monday he has tested positive for Covid-19 on his return to Spain from Abu Dhabi, where he took part in an exhibition tournament in which he met with Spain's elusive former king Juan Carlos.

“I am going through some unpleasant moments but I trust that I will improve little by little. I am now confined at home and have informed the people who had been in contact with me,” he wrote on Twitter.

“As a consequence of the situation, I have to have total flexibility with my calendar and I will analyse my options depending on my evolution,” the 35-year-old added.

“I will keep you informed of any decisions about my future tournaments.”

The Spanish former world number one had been due to fly to Melbourne later this month to compete in an ATP event ahead of the Australian Open.

The 20-time major champion has struggled with a foot injury for the past six months — forcing him to miss both Wimbledon and the US Open.

Nadal lost to another former world number one Andy Murray in an exhibition match on Friday in Abu Dhabi, his first match since August.

He then lost to Wimbledon semi-finalist Denis Shapovalov of Canada on Saturday.

Despite missing almost half the season, he finished 2021 ranked No.6 in the world after picking up two titles in Barcelona and Rome and making the semi-finals at the French Open and the quarters at the Australian Open.

During the tournament on Friday in Abu Dhabi, Nadal was photographed talking to Spain’s former king Juan Carlos I without wearing a face mask.

It was a rare public appearance for the 83-year-old since he went into exile in the United Arab Emirates in August 2020 following graft allegations. Since meeting Nadal on Friday, the emeritus king has tested negative for Covid-19 via PCR test.

Nadal said he was regularly tested in Abu Dhabi, and the results were always negative. His last test there was on Friday, and he received the results on Saturday.


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