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"We are nobody to say what they feel is better for their country, no?" - Rafael Nadal on Australian Open uncertainty

Rafael Nadal at the ATP Finals 2020
Rafael Nadal at the ATP Finals 2020
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Modified 22 Nov 2020, 13:50 IST
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World No. 2 Rafael Nadal believes that tennis players and the ATP Tour have no choice but to be patient with regards to the schedule of the Australian Open and other events in Australia next year.

There has been plenty of speculation around a possible delayed start for the first Grand Slam of the season. Tennis Australia came out with a statement on Saturday, saying that they are working closely with the Victorian government and that they will provide a further update as soon as things are finalized.

Tennis Australia also anticipates announcing the on-sale date of tickets within the next two weeks - an indication that the organizers are confident of the tournament having at least some spectators in attendance.

Speaking after his three-set semifinal loss to Daniil Medvedev at the ATP Finals on Saturday, Rafael Nadal stressed on the need for caution and patience, while also admitting that the final decision was up to the Australian government.

"I don't know what's the situation going to be yet," Nadal said. "We need to wait about what the government there in Victoria says. We can't do much from ATP position or just wait. We [are] nobody to say what they feel is better for [their] country, no?"

Need to find a way to play as many tournaments as possible in 2021: Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal poses with the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup after winning the 2009 Australian Open
Rafael Nadal poses with the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup after winning the 2009 Australian Open

Rafael Nadal has won the Australian Open once before (in 2009), and is keen to add another title in Melbourne and complete the Double Career Grand Slam. However, he called for the tennis community to be flexible given the global situation, and also expressed hope that the organizers can fit as many tournaments as possible in the 2021 calendar.

The 2020 season had been suspended for five months between March and August, with several events - including the Wimbledon Championships - being cancelled due to the pandemic.

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"We just need to be patient and accept the situation that we are facing," Nadal added. "That is difficult for everyone. We need to be flexible to understand the situation and to find a way to play as many tournaments as possible next year."

The Spaniard also suggested that things won't fully get back to normal until the COVID-19 vaccine is freely available all over the world.

"Hopefully with the vaccine, that ends soon and we can come back at least to close to normal in a couple of months, but now is a difficult situation," Nadal said.
Published 22 Nov 2020, 13:39 IST
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