The strict measures imposed by the government have not prevented the organizers from preparing everything necessary for the 2021 edition of the Australian Open. In the last few hours, however, the first twists have arrived.
After testing positive for COVID-19, Nicolas Massu announced that he will not follow Dominic Thiem to Melbourne (it is not certain that the Chilean will be allowed to do so at a later time). Previously, Carlos Moya had announced that he - by mutual agreement with Rafael Nadal - will stay in Spain with his family.
We remind you that all players will have to carry out two weeks of quarantine - during which they will be subjected to five swabs - in order to participate in the inaugural Slam of the season. Paul Annacone has a spectacular career as a coach, having had the privilege of working with the likes of Roger Federer and Pete Sampras.
Speaking on the Tennis Channel, the 57-year-old American explained how Moya and Massu's absences shouldn't affect Nadal and Thiem's performance too much.
Annacone gave his thoughts about Nadal and Thiem
“Yeah and these guys (Dominic Thiem and Nicolas Massu) have done such great work together,” Paul Annacone said.
“I mean Nicolas Massu was a catalyst to a big step into the next level for Dominic Thiem. But with his dad, his dad knows his game so well, he’s a very good coach himself. Thiem’s not 18 years old anymore so he’ll be just fine”.
Carlos Moya not accompanying Rafael Nadal doesn't worry Paul Annacone too much either; the American pointed out that Moya was absent from Nadal's team last year too. “Not much (on what he makes of this) I mean did Carlos go last year? (No),” Annacone continued.
“So yeah I think that’s why he has Francisco Roig with him for such a long time. Sometimes both coaches go, other times not. Severin and I did that a number of times when I was with Roger Federer so it is what it is”.
The American reckons that players such as Djokovic, Nadal and Thiem, who are almost always playing individually, relish the chance of taking part in a team event like the ATP Cup. “If you look at the teams and the players that represent these teams, it is going to be a tremendous competition,” Annacone said.
“Look, these individual athletes do not get to play in a team environment very often and when they do they are lit up like a Christmas tree, they love it. It is a tremendous event and I’m really interested to see how they all unfold in terms of the draw and who plays who. It’s going to be a great week of tennis”.