08/06/2020 - 19:42
The coronavirus pandemic forced the action of the ATP circuit to stop in March. Since then, no official men's tennis tournament has been played again, so the vast majority of players have spent almost five months without playing a match. Many cannot wait to return to the courts, but that does not seem to be the case for Rafael Nadal. The Spanish, number two in the world, has already warned that he will not play this year the US Open, which will start on August 31, something that did not surprise anyone. But he also commented that he still does not know if he will present at the 1,000 Masters in Rome, the only event that would serve as preparation for Roland Garros.
"I am preparing for the brick dust tour in Europe. But it all depends on how the situation is and if everything is under control or not. I do not know if I will play Rome. I will wait for news of the new adapted calendar after the cancellation of Madrid and from there I will have to make decisions, "said the Mallorcan in a virtual interview he gave to various media.
The Italian tournament is scheduled to take place from September 20 to 27, just the week before the French Grand Slam, which Rafa has already won twelve times. And with Madrid out of the calendar due to the outbreak of the disease in the Spanish capital -it was the only appointment of slow courts that he had already promised to play-, it seemed almost a fact that the Spanish would appear in Rome to arrive at the best form Paris. However, when putting together his calendar, for Nadal health is the most important thing today.
The Mallorcan, resting after training on the brick dust fields of his academy. "I am preparing for the brick dust tour in Europe. But it all depends on how the situation is and if everything is under control or not," he said. Instagram photo @rafaelnadal
This was evidenced when he recalled how the process led him to decide to absent himself from the United States hard court tour, which will include the Cincinnati Masters 1,000 -moved this year to the Flushing Meadows bubble- and the US Open, where I had to defend the title.
"The health situation was the first basic problem when making my decision. The situation seems to be not completely controlled, so in this case, consulted with my team, we decided not to travel to New York. I do not want to travel long and here in Mallorca everything is under control. Second, the schedule is complicated after many months without competing. Going from hard track to dust, with hardly any time to prepare, is dangerous for my body and my future, "explained the winner of 19 "big" titles.
He also commented that the mood was another factor that weighed on his choice. "The situation is as it is, and my spirit was not enough to travel to New York and compete. If I am going to play it is to have all my senses set in the competition and perform at my best, and today it would have been difficult," he acknowledged. .
The Spaniard, however, did not criticize his colleagues who did travel to the United States or to the ATP and the USTA, for wanting to celebrate the two turns in New York. "I think that in the current situation all decisions are valid. There is nothing that is safe or correct. I am not the one to say whether a decision is correct or not. I respect all the work and the positive attitude of the ATP and the USTA for making tennis come back. I also respect other players who decide to go, because for example they have a different situation and want to make money there that they need. I respect all decisions, but today it is difficult to say if it is the right thing to do or not, "he commented.
See this post on Instagram
After much thought I have decided not to participate in this year's US Open. The health situation remains very complicated throughout the world with cases of COVID-19 and outbreaks that seem out of control. We know that this year's calendar after 4 months without playing is outrageous, although I understand and appreciate the efforts that all parties are putting into tournaments. We have just had the news that the Madrid tournament has also been canceled. Today the situation is difficult to do tournaments and all my respect to the USTA, organizers of the US Open and the ATP for the efforts they are making to play the tournament for the millions of fans who will see it on TV or on digital platforms. This is a decision that I would not want to make but in this case I follow my heart to decide that for now I prefer not to travel. After many thoughts I have decided not to play this year's US Open. The situation is very complicated worldwide, the COVID-19 cases are increasing, it looks like we still don't have control of it. We know that the reduced tennis calendar is barbaric this year after 4 months stopped with no play, I understand and thank for the efforts they are putting in to make it happen. We have just seen the announcement of Madrid not being played this year. All my respects to the USTA, the US Open organizers and the ATP for trying to put the event together for the players and the fans around the world through TV. This is a decision I never wanted to take but I have decided to follow my heart this time and for the time being I rather not travel.
A shared post by Rafa Nadal (@rafaelnadal) on Aug 4, 2020 at 11:12 p.m. PDT
His withdrawal from the North American Grand Slam will cost Nadal nothing in a matter of points. Due to the adaptation of the ranking system that will be implemented due to the pandemic, he will not lose any of the 2,000 points he had to defend there.
The Mallorcan said that he chose to start training a few weeks ago in brick dust not because he had already ruled out the possibility of playing the US Open, but because "it was much better to do it on a slow surface, less aggressive for the general welfare." And he stated that the circuit stop did not leave him anything positive at a professional level. "He found me at an advanced age and at a good moment in my career. It has not been positive at all. Neither I nor anyone else would have wanted a 2020 like this," reflected Nadal. And he added: "What can happen in 2021 will be seen. I will face it with the greatest enthusiasm and with the greatest possible professionalism."