Rafael Nadal had to start the season by preparing for the Australian Open 2021, the first Grand Slam of the year, by playing the ATP Cup, a tournament that started on February 2nd. After missing the first match against Australia that would have opposed him to the young talent Aussie Alex De Minaur it was communicated that unless there are sensational changes Rafael Nadal will also miss the match with Greece and consequently the Big match against the Greek champion Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Rafael Nadal has announced all this with a sentence that does not bode well in view of the next matches. Rafa said: "I'm not in condition and I'm not able to play tomorrow's match against Tsitsipas."
Fans were disappointed and even the Spain team is worried in view of the next matches, Nadal's back pain continues and the 2021 season has certainly started in the worst way. Rafael Nadal is watching his teammates' commitments from the bench and all this brings great disappointment to the Spanish and non-Spanish fans of the competition.
In the first match to defend the colors of Spain were his teammates Pablo Carreno Busta and Roberto Bautista with the latter who replaced Nadal in the best way by beating the complicated opponent Alex De Minaur in three sets.
Now, barring sensational overturns, Rafa could return for the semifinal, but the situation needs to be monitored for the next few hours. Nadal is considered one of the favorites for the next Australian Open, a tournament that Rafa has won only once in his career but which with a victory this year would allow him to become the tennis player with 21 titles and consequently with more Grand Slam titles in history.
For some time now, Rafael Nadal has continued the long-standing race for the GOAT, a tennis player with more titles than ever, which sees him involved and opposed to world number one Novak Djokovic and eternal rival Roger Federer.
Australian Open men's singles draw
Top-Half N. Djokovic (1)-J. Chardy
F. Tiafoe-S. Travaglia
R. Opelka-Y. Lu
A. Ramos-Vinolas-T. Fritz (27) S. Wawrinka (17)-P. Sousa
M. Fucsovics-M. Polmans (WC)
C. Moutet- J. Millman
F. Coria-M. Raonic (14) G. Monfils (10)-E.
Y. Nishioka-P. Martinez
A. Bedene-A. Bublik
S. Stakhovsky (Q)-D. Lajovic (23) A. Mannarino (32)-D. Novak
M. Kecmanovic-K. Majchrzak
T. Daniel (LL)-M. Cressy (Q)
M. Giron-A. Zverev (6) D. Thiem (3)-M. Kukushkin
D. Koepfer-H. Dellien (LL)
F. Ferreira Silva (Q)-N.
Y. Uchiyama-U. Humbert (29) G. Dimitrov (18)-M. Cilic
A. Bolt (WC)-N. Gombos
K. Coppejans (Q)-J. Vesely
K. Nishikori-P. Carreno Busta (15) D. Shapovalov (11)-J. Sinner
Y. Sugita-B. Tomic (Q)
D. Dzumhur (LL)-J. Duckworth
C. Stebe (LL)-F. Auger-Aliassime (20) B.
Paire (25)-E. Gerasimov
G. Mager-A. Karatsev (Q)
F. Delbonis-J. Londero
E. Ymer (Q)-D. Schwartzman (8) Bottom-Half A. Rublev (7)-Y. Hanfmann
T. Monteiro-A. Martin
L. Tu (WC)-F. Lopez
S. Querrey-L. Sonego (31) C. Ruud (24)-J. Thompson
N. Basilashvili-T. Paul
O’Connell (WC)-J. Struff
R. Albot-R. Bautista Agut (12) D. Goffin (13)-A. Popyrin (WC)
L. Harris-M. Torpegaard (LL)
M. McDonald-M. Cecchinato
G. Pella-B. Coric (22) F. Krajinovic (28)-R. Haase (LL)
P. Andujar-Q. Halys (Q)
R. Carballes Baena-A. Balazs
Pospisil-D. Medvedev (4) S. Tsitsipas (5)-G. Simon
T. Kokkinakis (WC)-S. Kwon
B. Van de Zandschulp (Q)-C. Alcaraz (Q)
M. Ymer-H. Hurkacz (26) K. Khachanov (19)-A. Vukic (WC)
R. Berankis-S. Nagal (WC)
T. Machac (Q)-M. Vilella Martinez (Q)
K. Anderson –M.
Berrettini (9) F. Fognini (16)-P. Herbert
H. Laaksonen (Q)-S. Caruso
P. Cuevas-A. Seppi
T. Sandgren-A. de Minaur (21) D. Evans (30)-C. Norrie
I. Ivashka-R. Safiullin (Q)
M. Mmoh (Q)-V. Troicki (Q)
L. Djere-R. Nadal (2) Theoretical fourth round  N.
Djokovic v  M. Raonic
 G. Monfils v  A. Zverev
 D. Thiem v  P. Carreno Busta
 D. Shapovalov v  D. Schwartzman
 A. Rublev v  R. Bautista Agut
 D. Goffin v  D. Medvedev
 S. Tsitsipas v  M. Berrettini
 F. Fognini v  R. Nadal