Rafael Nadal Suffers Major Setback Ahead of Australian Open 2021

Published 01/13/2021, 9:35 AM EST
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 25: Rafael Nadal of Spain practices with coaches, Carlos Moya and Francisco Roig, on Arthur Ashe Stadium at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 25, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)


Rafael Nadal has had a consistent backroom staff that has helped him in his long career. His current head coach, Carlos Moya, has been a strong pillar since joining Nadal’s team in 2016. But given the current situation with the coronavirus pandemic, Carlos Moya won’t be traveling with Rafael Nadal to the Australian Open 2021.

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Moya announced the shocking update on Twitter. He consulted with Nadal before making the decision to not accompany the team to Australia.

“After speaking with Rafa, we have decided that I won’t travel to Australia with the team.”

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Carlos Moya will stay with his family and follow Rafael Nadal from his home

Given the upsurge in cases in Spain, Moya has decided not to travel. He will stay home with his family and follow the tournament from his home.

“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!!”

Carlos Moya has been a revelation for Nadal. From 2014 to 2016, Nadal had a rough time with a lot of injuries. And that is when Moya joined him. Since then, the Spanish coach has managed Nadal very well. Moya understood and tackled Nadal’s injury problems to make him a winner again.

2018 French Open Tennis Tournament – Rafael Nadal of Spain with coach Carlos Moya training on Court Suzanne Lenglen in preparation for the 2018 French Open Tennis Tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

In 2017, Rafa’s uncle, Toni Nadal, stepped out of the player’s coaching team. Moya then took over as the head coach and since won six Grand Slam titles. Rafa won many titles under Moya and is still dominating tennis. So Moya’s absence will be tough for Nadal.

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For 2021 Australian Open, there are already a lot of hurdles that the players will have to go through. Due to the emergence of the new COVID-19 strain, players and their teams will have to be under strict quarantine for 14 days before playing. Players will be allowed to train for a few hours but under supervision.

For Rafa, this is a tough call. Already, the player entourage is limited. And with his family not expected to travel, Nadal has lost an important problem solver from his team. It’ll be interesting to see how he performs without his head coach.

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Bhavishya Mittal

1226 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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