The 2021 season is not over yet (Davis Cup finals are missing), but the focus is already on the Australian Open 2022. A few days ago, the news came that it will be necessary to be vaccinated to be able to participate in the Slam 'Down Under' .
The presence of Novak Djokovic in Melbourne is far from obvious, given that the number 1 in the world did not want to reveal his vaccination status. A possible forfeit of the Serbian would be a huge blow to the tournament, as the 34-year-old from Belgrade has won the last three editions.
Thanks to his extraordinary 2021, Nole has closed the gap that separated him from Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the all-time ranking of the Majors. The Swiss phenomenon will not return until summer 2022, while the Spaniard is expected to fly to Australia to try to win his 21st Grand Slam.
The 35-year-old Majorcan has always had a fluctuating feeling with the AO, having only prevailed once back in 2009. In a recent chat on the Tennis Channel, Andy Roddick analyzed Rafa's chances at Melbourne Park.
Andy Roddick reflects on Rafa Nadal
"Listen, I don't think Rafael Nadal is the favorite [for the Australian Open] regardless of if Novak Djokovic's there or not as it currently stands, but there's a serious wrinkle," Roddick said.
"Unfortunately, I don't think the days of Roger Federer winning Grand Slams are still here. I would love to be proven wrong, but that's a seriously uphill battle." Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal has been one of the most notable players in this era.
Besides the Australian Open, he has won each Grand Slam event at least twice in his career. Recently, tennis legend Jim Courier spoke on this subject and stated, “Top players are used to having their way. Novak had his way in Australia this year.
He and many other players were given preferential treatment in Adelaide. That is where they quarantined, and very different conditions and the bulk of the playing body in Australia”. The 51-year-old added, “Anyone who wants to get in has to be vaccinated and he gets that she can’t get that normal top player exemption and most things have happened to him and other top players.
This is a real crossroad for him. When you factor in one and say this about Rafa jumping at the bit to get to 21 also and that would also give Rafa all of the Majors at least twice. Something Novak has done at least as well, there is a lot at stake here in their cannons of tennis history and this is a fascinating story”.