Rafael Nadal arrives in Melbourne for Australian Open bid after COVID-19 battle

Rafael Nadal has all but confirmed his bid for a 21st grand slam title in Melbourne next month.

After much speculation on the 35-year-old’s Australian Open participation, the Spaniard tweeted from Melbourne Park on Friday night.

“Don’t tell anyone … here I am,” Nadal said.

It’s the biggest indication the former world No.1 will play in the event he won in 2009.

Tennis fans’ hopes were raised significantly when it emerged on Thursday he had undertaken a secret fitness test, fewer than two weeks after an “unpleasant” battle with COVID-19.

Footage of him undergoing the test at his academy in Mallorca, Spain, were followed by reports he was set to fly to Melbourne.

Now that has been confirmed, it’s hoped he is a chance to play in the ATP 250 event in Melbourne starting January 4.

It would be the first time he’s played since August.