World No.2 Rafael Nadal and last year’s finalist Dominic Thiem have suffered setbacks in their Australian Open campaign as both of their coaches are unable to reach Australia.
According to protocols, players and officials have to complete a 14-day quarantine upon arrival in Australia, after which they will be cleared to participate in warm-ups on January 31, at Melbourne Park. The major will be held at the same venue from Feb 8-21.
Carlos Moya, Nadal’s coach, said that he is not travelling to Australia due to the strict health conditions.
“After speaking with Rafa, we have decided that I won’t travel to Australia with the team,” Moya, a former world number one, said on social media.
“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 team.”
US Open champion Thiem, Nadal and defending Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic will be among top players quarantining in Adelaide and they will head to Melbourne after that for the Grand Slam and team-based ATP Cup.
As far as Thiem’s coach is concerned, he couldn’t get on the flight to Australia as he had been tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
“Before we took off, we received the surprising message from Nicolas Massu that he had a positive test,” Thiem’s father Wolfgang was quoted as saying by Austria’s Kurier daily.
“Nico will be tested again in a few days. We hope that he will be negative then and he will be able to follow suit soon.”
Thiem had lost to Djokovic in the final of the Australian Open last year and he will be eager to lay his hands on the trophy this time. He will train with fellow Austrian player Dennis Novak during the quarantine period. The players are allowed five hours of time outside their hotel rooms in order to prepare for the major.