Rafael Nadal practices with Alexander Zverev ahead of Australian Open

Former world No. 1 Rafael Nadal practiced with Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Alexander Zverev on Wednesday at Melbourne Park. 

Nadal, a 20-time Grand Slam champion, arrived to Australia just before the New Year and he has had lots of time to get acclimatised and adjust to the conditions in Melbourne. 

Nadal has had a strong preparation for the Australian Open so far as last week he made it all the way at the Melbourne Summer Set. 

In the final, Nadal beat Maxime Cressy in straight sets to lift his first title since the 2021 Rome Masters. 

Nadal didn’t win a Grand Slam year and he certainly hopes to capture a record 21st Grand Slam title at Melbourne Park.

Nadal weighed in on the Novak Djokovic visa drama

After Djokovic’s visa was cancelled, Nadal said it all could have been avoided had the Serb taken the vaccine. 

“I think if he (had) wanted, he would be playing here in Australia without a problem,” Nadal said. “He went through another…he made his own decisions, and everybody is free to take their own decisions, but then there are some consequences.

“Of course I don’t like the situation that is happening. In some way I feel sorry for him. But at the same time, he knew the conditions since a lot of months ago, so he makes his own decision.”

Also, Nadal said he understood the frustration of the Australians. 

“(It) seems some rough situation, but at the end of the day the only thing that I can say is we have been going through very challenging and a lot of families have been suffering a lot during the last two years with all the pandemic,” he said.

“It’s normal that the people here in Australia get very frustrated with the case because they have been going through a lot of very hard lockdowns, and a lot of people were not able to come back home.”