Rafael Nadal faces the possibility of defending two Grand Slam titles in the space of the month – but says…
Rafael Nadal faces the possibility of defending two Grand Slam titles in the space of the month – but says he will definitely be at Roland Garros if it’s safe to compete.
With the French Open making the unilateral decision to move their tournament to a starting date just one week after the completion of the US Open, Nadal – who rarely adopts a busy schedule to minimise risk of injury – is primed to have a busy month on his hands if he is to successfully defend both titles.
Speaking in an interview with French TV program State 2, Nadal said the health and safety of all players is the top priority – but if officials could guarantee that, he would compete and attempt to secure a 13th French Open title.
“I do not look to the future in a professional way but in a medical way to preserve the health of all tournament workers, ATP workers and all players,” Nadal told Stade 2. “I see an uncertain, complicated situation, but things never you know how they evolve.
“If you can compete safely, with the same possibilities for everyone, because we come from different parts of the world, and everyone can participate, I will be there. But today we must go with caution and responsibility to make the right decisions to guarantee the health of all of us who make up the world of tennis.”
All forms of professional tennis are currently suspended until August 1 at the earliest. The US Open say they will make a final decision on the status of their slam this month.
The prospect of playing back-to-back slams is a daunting one for Nadal, but the 19-time major champion is back in training for whenever the tour makes an announcement on a return date.
“I am fine. I have been two months and something without being able to leave the house,” Nadal said. “Luckily, I have machines that have allowed me to do physical training.
“Now I have been training for a couple of weeks, but very little by little. I do not train every day I am training progressively, slowly and with the utmost caution. The goal is to be ready for when you can play again and right now we don’t know.”
Nadal finished 2019 as World No. 1, but relinquished the top spot back to Novak Djokovic after falling in the Australian Open quarter-finals to Dominic Thiem.
The Spaniard won his 85th career title in Acapulco just before the tour was suspended in March.