Nadal: I was very sick with Covid

Rafael Nadal said that he had been “very sick” with Covid as he returned with a patchy win over qualifier Ricardas Berankis at the Melbourne Summer Set tournament on Thursday.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion launched his Australian Open preparations with a 6-2, 7-5 win, his first singles match on the ATP Tour since August after injury and then the virus.

The 35-year-old, who tested positive for Covid last month, was in action just as his rival Novak Djokovic — who is also chasing a record-breaking 21st Slam title – was facing deportation from Australia.

“I felt so tired and I had fever,” Nadal said of having Covid.

“I had to be on the bed for a couple of days without having the chance to move much because I was very sick with fever.”

The Spaniard, who fell ill after an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi, said: “After I got infected, I needed to see a little bit how my body improved after Covid.

“I’m quite happy the way that I improved in terms of recovery,” he added. – AFP

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