2021 hasn't been an easy year for Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, both of whom are struggling with a series of physical woes. The Swiss played a pittance of 13 official matches this year, racking up nine wins and four defeats.
After a clear elimination in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, the 40-year-old from Basel announced that he had suffered a knee relapse and had to undergo surgery for the third time in the last 18 months. The 20-time Grand Slam champion will not return to the circuit before the summer of 2022 and his presence at the Championships is in great doubt.
Nadal's situation is slightly better, limited by a chronic foot problem in 2021. The Spaniard has played just seven official tournaments this season, putting up a couple of trophies on his beloved clay. Returning from Abu Dhabi, where he took part in an exhibition, the 35-year-old from Manacor discovered he had contracted the Coronavirus.
At this point, his participation in the Australian Open seems increasingly unlikely. In a long interview with the 'Tennis Majors' portal, former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli talked about Roger and Rafa.
Bartoli on Federer and Nadal
"For 20 years, we've been very spoilt to have Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal coming with so different personalities that people could actually sit on one side or the other," Bartoli said.
"You either love Nadal or love Federer." The 37-year-old was quick to add that every tennis player has their own personality and asking them to change it to fit the mold of someone else is unfair. "Rafael Nadal has his own personality when he comes on court.
He's just himself and you can't just ask somebody to just duplicate or replicate who someone used to be," Bartoli said. "You are who you are. You come with your personality." Tournament director, Craig Tiley is confident about Rafael Nadal and his participation at the Australian Open 2022.
Just two days ago, the 20-time Grand Slam winner tested positive for the virus. The Spaniard has isolated himself and is taking necessary precautions. Tiley said, ” I have confidence in the coming of Rafa Nadal. Players who test positive now will stop being contagious after a while, and there will be no more problems then.
Never being positive is a good thing, but if you want to play the Australian Open, now is the time to catch the virus”. Rafael Nadal last participated at the Majors in the French Open 2021. Since then, the Spaniard hasn’t played much tennis on the ATP circuit. Recently, the Spaniard made his comeback at an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi.