Rafael Nadal, the number 2 ranked tennis player in the world and current French Open Champion, believes that the tennis season for this year is ruined due to the corona virus pandemic.
The Spaniard said that it would be better to abandon all hopes of resuming this year and shift the focus to next year.
The 33 year old Nadal who has 19 Grand Slam titles to his name said that he had initially hoped to play this year, but now believes that tennis in 2020 is rapidly becoming unrealistic due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Nadal, it may be a waste of time trying to salvage the 2020 tennis calendar, due to the rapidly evolving nature of public health concerns due to the coronavirus. He thinks tennis pros should start preparing for 2021 instead.
Due to the logistical nightmares involved in getting tennis players from different countries to a tournament destination amidst an ongoing pandemic, it may be better to use the remaining time this year to come up with a detailed plan on how to jump these hurdles in 2021.
Injury Risks to Players Unable to Train
Nadal also said he was worried about the injury risks to players who attempt to play tennis at a tournament level after spending most of their time in compromised training situations due to the closure of gyms, courts, and other facilities. Nadal, who has had an extensive injury history throughout his career, admitted that he fully expects to struggle in the first tournament he enters after the quarantine periods.
Nadal noted that Spanish authorities were unclear about the guidelines for training. Spain recently softened their rules on lockdown guidelines, which have been in effect since the middle of March. Professional and other high-level athletes are reportedly being allowed to practice starting this week, but many training venues remain closed. High-level soccer clubs are currently being provided exemptions, and allowed to practice individually in specific settings.
Novak Djokovic, who is also currently in Spain, ran afoul of the new rules when he tried to practice at a court in Marbella, Spain. The federation stated that players cannot practice in courts. As a result of the confusion, Nadal practiced in a private court.
Nadal is currently unable to practice at the main courts of his Mallorca-based tennis academy because there is a contingent of 85 children quarantined inside the venue, preventing anyone else from entering.