When Rafael Nadal plays for a major milestone in Melbourne, coach Carlos Moya won’t be in his support box.
Former world No. 1 Moya, Nadal’s long-time mentor, will miss the 2021 Australian Open due to family concerns during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Spain has been hit hard by the pandemic. Former French Open champion Moya announced on Twitter he will remain in Spain as Nadal travels first to Adelaide, Australia to quarantine and play an exhibition before moving on to Melbourne for the Australian Open.
“After speaking with Rafa, we have decided that I won’t travel to Australia with the team,” Moya said. “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.”
After speaking with Rafa,we have decided that I won’t travel to Australia with the team.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 https://t.co/R5x6nwnXPZ of luck to the team!!
— Carlos Moya (@Charlymoya) January 13, 2021
Francisco Roig, Nadal’s long-time co-coach, will be in his box in Melbourne when the second-ranked Spaniard plays for his record-extending 21st Grand Slam title and his first AO crown since 2019.
Australia is permitting about 1,200 players, coaches and practice partners into the country for the AO, set for February 8th-21st.
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, US Open champion Dominic Thiem and Rafa as well as Naomi Osaka, Simona Halep and Serena Williams are among the players set to quarantine in Adelaide, Australia.
They are scheduled to play an exhibition in Adelaide before traveling to Melbourne where the men can play the ATP Cup before the AO begins.
Austrian media reports Thiem’s coach, Nicolas Massu, has contracted the Coronavirus and did not board the tournament’s chartered plane to Australia.
“Nico will be tested again in a few days,” Wolfgang Thiem, Dominic Thiem’s dad, told the Austrian media. “We hope that he will be negative then and he will be able to follow suit soon.”
Photo credit: Rafa Nadal Academy