Australian Open receives big boost from Rafael Nadal ahead of 2021 tournament

Rafael Nadal competing

The official date for the 2021 Australian Open is yet to be confirmed, but Rafael Nadal will be on the entry list after his manager confirmed his participation.

The world No 2 and 20-time Grand Slam winner has signed up for the season-opening major despite several question marks around the tournament with regards to quarantine regulations in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Rafa has confirmed that he is travelling to Melbourne and playing at the Australian Open,” Nadal’s manager Benito Pérez-Barbadillo told The Age.

The Spaniard, who won the hard-court Grand Slam in 2009 and finished runner-up on four occasions, will make his 15th appearance at Melbourne Park next year.

Nadal’s participation is a major lift for organisers after fellow 20-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer confirmed in recent days that he is “in a race against time” to be fit for the event following knee surgery earlier this year.

Roger Federer gives fitness update as he admits ‘it will be tight’ to be fit for Australian Open

Originally scheduled to run from 18-31 January, the 2021 Australian Open is now expected to start on 8 February and players are expected to arrive in the country from 15 to 17 January.

All players and their entourages will then have quarantine for 14 days in Melbourne after which they are likely to compete in one warm-up event before the major.

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