Tennis: Thiem, Nadal suffer coaching disruptions as European players head for Australian Open

Dominic Thiem (left) and Rafael Nadal will not have their coaches with them at the Australian Open. PHOTOS: REUTERS

VIENNA (AFP) - World No. 3 and US Open champion Dominic Thiem has had to travel to Australia without his coach Nicolas Massu, who tested positive for the coronavirus, Austrian media reported on Wednesday (Jan 14).

"Before flying out, we got the surprising news that Massu had received a positive test result," Thiem's father Wolfgang was quoted as saying by the Kurier daily. "Nico will get tested again in a few days. We hope it then comes back negative and he can follow on after."

But he added that the Chilean Massu was expected to be unavailable for "one to two weeks".

He told Austrian media that in the meantime he would train with Dominic and fellow Austrian Dennis Novak.

Thiem and Novak flew to Australia on Wednesday. They will quarantine for two weeks before they represent Austria in the ATP Cup.

The ATP Cup starts on Feb 1 in Melbourne, with the Australian Open following on Feb 8.

Also on Wednesday Rafael Nadal's coach Carlos Moya announced he would not be travelling to attend the Australian Open due to the current coronavirus restrictions.

"After speaking with Rafa, we have decided that I won't travel to Australia with the team," Moya, who has been on Nadal's coaching team since 2016, 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 aiming to clinch a 21st Grand Slam title in Melbourne, which would put him ahead of Roger Federer's 20 as the most successful men's player of all time.

The world No. 2 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.

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