Rafael Nadal will try to overtake Roger Federer’s Grand Slam record without his coach Carlos Moya, who said on Wednesday he will not attend the Australian Open due to coronavirus travel restrictions.
Nadal is aiming to clinch a 21st major title in Melbourne, which would put him ahead of Federer’s 20 as the most successful men’s player of all time.
But the world number two will be without Moya, who has been on Nadal’s coaching team since 2016.
“After speaking with Rafa, we have decided that I won’t travel to Australia with the team,” Moya announced.
“My intention was to be with the team from the beginning of the Australian Open as usual but the Australian government is not authorising separate travelling and arriving at the beginning of the tournament.
“I will follow the tournament from home and will stay with my family, parents and kids due to the delicate situation that Spain is living with the virus. Best of luck to the teams travelling.”
Nadal is set for a longer schedule in Australia, starting with an exhibition in Adelaide before heading to Melbourne for the ATP Cup and Australian Open.
The Spaniard will have a free hit at the Grand Slam record after Federer withdrew from the first major tournament of the year, citing a need to regain fitness following two knee operations.
Coronavirus restrictions mean players competing at the event will have to quarantine for two weeks before it starts.
Qualifying for the tournament was held in Doha and Dubai and ended Wednesday.