Rafael Nadal is skeptical about the prospect of the ATP Tour returning until 2021 due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. With ATP and WTA Tours being suspended until at least mid-July due to the spread of the deadly virus, Nadal has already started planning for next year’s Australian Open. Wimbledon has already been cancelled for the first time since World War II while the French Open is being postponed to September but the major at Roland Garros and the US Open remain in doubt. Also Read - Italian Open 2021: Djokovic Beats Lorenzo, Set To Face Nadal In Rome Final
The world number two Nadal still wishes to return to competitive action before the end of the year but says a more realistic approach is to plan towards 2021 and the Australian Open. “I hope to play as soon as possible but if I think about it logically, we travel every week from one place to another, we are in contact with hotels, airports, all in different places,” Nadal said in an interview with Spanish newspaper ABC on Tuesday. Also Read - Assam Lockdown Guidelines: Shops to Close at 11 AM, No Vehicular Movement After 12 PM | Full List of Fresh Restrictions Here
“I would sign up to being ready for 2021,” the Spaniard added. Also Read - Are Olympics Happening In 2021? Roger Federer Wants An Answer
“I’m more worried about the Australian Open than what occurs at the end of this year. I think 2020 is practically lost. I hope we can start up again next year, I really hope that’s the case.”
In a separate interview with El Pais, Nadal said: “I’m more looking to the Australian Open than what happens later this year. I see 2020 as practically lost.”
Nadal at 33 is in the latter stages of his illustrious career and the hiatus came just as he looked to be closing in on the 20 major titles won by the Roger Federer.
If Tennis returns this season, Nadal could choose to skip the US Open and save himself for the French, given there would be just a week between the two.
“It’s all hypothetical because I don’t think it will be like that,” said Nadal to ABC. “My feeling, and I say it with sadness and I won’t lie to you, is that we are losing a year of our lives.
“And at 33 or 34 years old that is much more valuable than at 20 when you have many more years ahead, even if it’s still a year.
“Frankly, I think that will not happen. From the US Open to Roland Garros with a week in between, I just don’t think we can play.”