Rafael Nadal is doubtful about tennis resuming in 2020
- Rafael Nadal not optimistic about resumption of tennis in 2020; looks ahead to 2021 Australian Open
- Nadal talks about the hazards of constant travelling for players until the virus is eradicated completely.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging and uncertainty hanging over the sports world, Rafael Nadal does not have high hopes of tennis restarting in 2020. The 19-time Grand Slam champion shared his concern with Spanish newspaper El Pais, calling the season “practically lost”.
The former World No. 1 also went a step further and said that he is more worried for next year’s Australian Open than resumption of tennis this year.
“I would sign up to be ready for 2021. Hopefully. I’m more concerned with the Australian Open than what happens later this year. 2020 I see it practically lost. I hope to be able to start next year. I wish it so,” said Rafael Nadal.
The 12-time French Open champion trained for the first time in two months on Tuesday, after restrictions were eased in Spain – a country vastly affected by the virus outbreak. With lockdown being imposed in most nations, the ATP and WTA Tours have suspended the tennis season until July 13.
It has not been an easy time for Rafael Nadal, one of the sporting world’s most disciplined athletes who is known for his dedication to training. In a separate interview with Spanish newspaper ABC, the Mallorcan admitted he yearns to go back to his normal routine and hopes to see an end to this ordeal soon.
“There is talk of a new normality and I want an old normality, the one from before. I want to get my life back, I want people to be able to hug each other, I want people to be able to go to work happily, people to be able to gather without fear.”
Rafael Nadal talks about the hazards of traveling
As much as he would want it, Nadal is aware that resumption of tennis involves a lot of risk for the players. Constant travelling exposes them to several potential hazards, and the Spaniard believes tennis cannot return until the virus is eradicated globally.
“I hope to play as soon as possible but if I think about it logically, we travel every week from one place to another, we are in contact with hotels, airports, all in different places. If you gave me the ability to guarantee that in January 2021, a normal season like before will begin, I would sign for that now with my eyes closed.”
We are losing a year of our lives: Rafael Nadal
With Roland Garros announcing they have postponed the 2020 French Open until September, the US Open is also in a quandary. The final Major of the year is still scheduled to be held on its original dates from August 24 to September 14, if tennis restarts.
Roland Garros, meanwhile, intends to hold its event from September 27 to October 11.
That leaves just a two-week gap between two of the biggest tennis tournaments in the world. And at 33, Rafael Nadal does not think that is a feasible idea; he believes the dates will once again be changed.
"My feeling, and sadly I say, I will not deceive you, is that we are losing a year of our life. And at 33-34 years old, it is much more valuable than 20, because there you have much more ahead, even if it is also a year. Frankly, I think that will not happen. From the US Open to Roland Garros with a week in between ... I just don't think we can play," Rafael Nadal signed off.