Rafael Nadal's uncle and former coach Toni Nadal recently spoke about the inaugural edition of the Mallorca Championships, which is scheduled to be held just one week before Wimbledon. Toni revealed that the ATP 250 event will have spectators in limited numbers, unlike some of the other tournaments that have been held this year.
The current global health crisis has prompted many sporting events to not allow fans on-site, in a bid to restrict physical interaction among people. But Mallorca tournament director Toni Nadal, who recently took Next Gen star Felix Auger-Aliassime under his wing, is not a fan of tennis behind closed doors.
While speaking about the issue, Toni recounted his first-hand experience of traveling to this year's Monte Carlo Masters. The ATP Masters 1000 event, which was won by Stefanos Tsitsipas, had to be organized without fans because of the severity of the COVID-19 situation in and around France.
Toni Nadal claimed that the atmosphere in Monte Carlo was like that of a practice session, before confirming that the grasscourt event in Mallorca will welcome 1,500 spectators a day.
"I was in Monte Carlo and I can tell you the tournaments behind closed doors are very poor and difficult to play. It feels like you are practicing," Toni said. "In June at the Mallorca Open we will welcome 1,500 spectators a day."
Uncle Toni is probably aware of how the tennis circuit is struggling financially because of the pandemic, which makes the presence of on-site spectators very important. It goes without saying that the Spaniard will try and ensure that proper arrangements and quarantining restrictions are in place at the Mallorca event.
Nick Kyrgios confirmed for the 2021 Mallorca Championships
The Mallorca Open used to be a WTA International category event, which was held from 2016 to 2019. The tournament organizers subsequently acquired a license for hosting an ATP 250 tournament on the grasscourts of Santa Ponsa, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced the event to be canceled in 2020.
The Mallorca Championships is now all set to make its debut in 2021. And interestingly, World No. 56 Nick Kyrgios confirmed earlier on Wednesday that he will be playing the tournament this year.
With six career ATP titles to his name, Nick Kyrgios is expected to be a big draw at the event. The 26-year-old enjoys playing on grass, a surface where his serve and touch are rewarded greatly.
Kyrgios had famously reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon 2014, after beating two-time champion Rafael Nadal in the fourth round.