Gates warned Nadal about coronavirus threat in February

andrewhendrie in News 06 Apr 2020
Bill Gates Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal (Photo by Corinne Dubreuil/ABACAPRESS.COM)

Rafael Nadal was warned by Bill Gates about the impending severity the coronavirus would have across the world back in February.

Nadal and Gates, along with Roger Federer and Trevor Noah, combined to break the record for the highest-ever attendance for a tennis match when the quartet played an exhibition match in Cape Town, South Africa just one week after the Australian Open final.

It was in Cape Town where Nadal first learned about the serious nature of COVID-19, according to his uncle Toni.

“My nephew when he was playing in South Africa in February spoke to Bill Gates and he told him that what was happening in China was going to get complicated,” Toni Nadal told Onda Cero radio.

“Until there is a drug or a vaccine, I see the picture is quite complicated. We will live in a situation of uncertainty and danger until this is well managed.”

Gates predicted in 2015 that the world wasn’t ready to combat a deadly virus during a TED Talks speech.

“If anything kills over 10 million people in the next few decades it’s most likely to be a highly infectious virus rather than a war,” Gates warned.

“We’re not ready for the next epidemic.”

There are now over 1.2 million confirmed cases of coronavirus throughout the world and a total of 69,405 deaths at the time of writing.

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Spain has overtaken Italy as the second hardest-hit country in the world after the United States, with 131,646 cases and 12,641 deaths.

All forms of tennis have been suspended until July 13 at the earliest, but due to the global nature of tennis and the essential need for players and their large teams to travel weekly, it seems almost impossible that competition will resume in 2020 – at least in the current climate.

Toni Nadal is the tournament director of the Mallorca Open – which was cancelled as part of the grass swing leading into Wimbledon – but he says tennis is the furthest thing from his mind.

“At the moment I do not have the head for tennis.

“The last thing I was thinking about was the cancellation of the Mallorca Open.

“There will be more Wimbledon and more Mallorca, that is not worrying, the worrying thing is that many people are dying.”