Rafael Nadal says 2020 tennis season is ‘practically lost’ due to coronavirus pandemic

The ATP and WTA tours were suspended until at least mid-July, Wimbledon having already been canceled and the French Open, where Nadal won a record of 12 titles, postponed until the end of September.

However, the 19-time Grand Slam champion has doubts about his return to the field this year.

“I hope we can come back this year, but I don’t think we will,” he told Spanish newspaper El Pais on Tuesday. “Unfortunately, I would sign up to be ready for 2021 – I hope.

“I’m more concerned about the Australian Open (in January) than what will happen later this year. I see 2020 as practically lost. I hope to start next year, that’s what I wish.”

Nadal devotes part of his spare time to helping people in need and has teamed up with Spanish NBA star Pau Gasol and joined “ Red Cross Responds ”, a project to distribute packages of food and care and to provide support to more than 1.3 million vulnerable people. Across the country.

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Spain has become one of the European countries most affected by the pandemic, registering more than 219,000 cases and 25,613 deaths.

“We are trying to unite as many people as possible to create something beautiful,” said Nadal. “I am very grateful for the collaborative effort of all: athletes, artists, companies, federations, citizens.

“I am a sentimental person, who is affected by things and who sees so many people suffering so much, so many people who have lost family members without even being able to say goodbye.

“In the end, being able to kiss your brother or sister relieves some of your pain and imagine that they couldn’t even do it. You have to be positive and keep going. has no other choice. “

Tennis returns … in a way

While the ATP and WTA tours may have been suspended, tennis returned for the first time during the coronavirus pandemic with the Tennis Point exhibition series in Germany.

World No. 143 Yannick Hanfmann defeated tournament star Dustin Brown in straight sets to claim the title in somewhat unusual circumstances.

The show was held without fans and there were only three people on the field at a time – the two players and the referee. Players entered and exited through different doors and sat face to face so that they never crossed the net.

Matches were at the best of three sets, and sets were shortened to the first to four games, with a three-point tiebreaker and wins to the next point when matches reached the same level.

The tournament was organized to help lower ranking players earn income during the pandemic.

Novak Djokovic, president of the ATP Player Council, called on the best players to contribute to a fund set up by the game’s governing bodies to help the lowest, but the world number 3 Dominic Thiem recently rejected the idea .