Rafael Nadal Says He Tested Positive for COVID After Event in Abu Dhabi

Adam WellsDecember 20, 2021

Rafael Nadal, of Spain, competes against Jack Sock during a match in the Citi Open tennis tournament, Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
AP Photo/Nick Wass

Rafael Nadal has tested positive for COVID-19 following his appearance in the World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi last week. 

In a Twitter post written in Spanish (h/t Reuters), Nadal announced he had a PCR test return positive upon returning to Spain after the tournament: 

"I am having some unpleasant moments but I hope that I will improve little by little. I am now homebound and have reported the result to those who have been in contact with me. As a result of the situation I have to have total flexibility with my calendar and I will analyze my options depending on my evolution. I will keep you informed of any decisions about my future tournaments."

The World Tennis Championships exhibition marked Nadal's first event since the Citi Open in August. He withdrew from the Canadian Open and Cincinnati Masters later that month because of a foot injury. 

Before the start of the U.S. Open in September, Nadal announced he was ending his 2021 season early because of ongoing issues with his left foot. 

"Honestly, I have been suffering much more than I should with my foot for a year and I need to take some time … to find a solution to this problem or at least improve it in order to continue to have options for the next few years," the 35-year-old said.

Injuries limited Nadal to just seven tournaments this year. The Spaniard did win the Barcelona Open and Italian Open but didn't reach the final in any other event. The 20-time Grand Slam singles winner lost to Novak Djokovic in the French Open semifinals. 

Nadal lost his opening match in Abu Dhabi to Andy Murray in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5, and then to Denis Shapovalov in three sets. 

The next event on the ATP Tour schedule is the Australian Open starting on Jan. 17. Nadal is currently scheduled to take part in the tournament, but he has not guaranteed that he will be ready to play by then.