Rafael Nadal is ‘very pessimistic’ for tennis to resume a normal schedule in 2020 as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues…
Rafael Nadal is ‘very pessimistic’ for tennis to resume a normal schedule in 2020 as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the world.
Nadal was part of a live stream chat with fellow Spanish players Roberto Bautista Agut, Pablo Carreno Busta, Feliciano Lopez, Marcel Granollers and Davis Cup captain Sergi Bruguera, with the group discussing how tennis will move forward once the coronavirus crisis is over.
Pointing out that tennis requires international travel almost every week and a large number of staff to organise tournaments, Nadal said it was highly unlikely that the sport will be able to come back in its traditional format for the rest of the year.
“From my point of view, I’m very pessimistic that the circuit can resume a normal activity,” Nadal said. “In tennis, you need to travel every week, stay in hotels, go to different countries.
“Even if it we play without an audience, to organize any event you need a lot of people involved, which cannot be ignored. At an international level I see a serious problem.”
All forms of tennis have been suspended until July 13 at the earliest, but that date is likely to be pushed back in the coming months.
The French government banned all sport in the country until September on Tuesday. Last month, Roland Garros made the unilateral decision to postpone their Grand Slam until September – just a week after the U.S. Open is scheduled to finish.
Nadal, who is the defending champion at both slams, admits it will be tough for players to find their best form when tennis does resume, but continued to reiterate that the health and safety of everyone should be prioritised ahead of the sport.
“It will be a very tough job to regain fitness and you will need lots of discipline and lots of suffering,” Nadal said. “The sooner we can resume activity the better. From the point of view about going back to competitions, I’m pessimistic. But there are many other things more important than tennis.”
There have been 3,136,232 confirmed cases of coronavirus as of April 29, with 217, 799 deaths.
Nadal’s native Spain has been the second-hardest hit country in the world in terms of cases behind the United States.
“We have had a very tough month and a half, with many irreparable losses as well as others that are less important that will still bring great suffering to society, I hope only for a few months, at the economic level,” Nadal added.
“Many people are going to lose their jobs…These are sad moments when you see so many people dying.”