Nadal taking extra care with COVID scare at Wimbledon

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Rafael Nadal is not taking any chances with COVID-19 and staying indoors when he is not on court, the Spaniard said on Thursday with three big names in the men’s singles draw having pulled out of Wimbledon after contracting the virus.

Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut joined Croatian Marin Cilic, the former US Open champion and 2017 Wimbledon runner-up, and Italian eighth seed Matteo Berrettini, who lost to Novak Djokovic in the 2021 final, in withdrawing from the Grand Slam.

Nadal, who tested positive for coronavirus at the end of last year, said he was taking extra precautions.

“No, no, no paranoia at all. Reality,” he told reporters after reaching the third round with a 6-4 6-4 4-6 6-3 victory over Ricardas Berankis on Thursday.

“That’s the thing. A good friend of mine today had to pull out, Roberto Bautista, with another case. When this kind of stuff happens it’s because probably a lot of cases are around.”

The pandemic forced organisers to cancel the 2020 Wimbledon tournament but no COVID-19 restrictions are in place this year and vaccination is not mandatory for players to participate.

The All England Club has also welcomed back full capacity crowds.

“I am not doing many things. Just staying here and staying in the house, not going out at all anymore,” said Nadal, who is bidding for a calendar Grand Slam after winning the Australian and French Open titles this year.

“That’s part of this challenging world that we are facing the last couple of years. I am not saying that we are not doing the things the proper way because at some point we need to open everything again, we need to be free, have a normal life.

“It looks like now the COVID is less dangerous in terms of creating very dangerous health problems. At the same time, when you open, these kinds of things can happen.”