Rafael Nadal Not Yet Ready to Travel for U.S. Open

Traditionally, that is Rafael Nadal’s time to dominate: the week when the world’s premier clay-court tennis match, the French Open, comes to an in depth, and when Nadal secures one other singles title.

He has received the Open an astounding 12 instances, however it is a season like no different, and as a substitute of pumping his fist and bellowing “vamos” after whipping one other forehand winner in Paris, he as a substitute spent Thursday at his academy in Manacor, Majorca.

The French Open, initially scheduled to run from May 24 to June 7, has been postponed to late September and early October due to the coronavirus pandemic. The United States Open, the following Grand Slam match on the schedule, is unsure to be performed however nonetheless set for Aug. 31 to Sept. 13 in New York, which has been hit significantly onerous by the virus.

“Well, is not an ideal situation, honestly no,” stated Nadal, who received his fourth U.S. Open singles title final 12 months. “If you ask me as we speak if I would like to journey as we speak to New York to play a tennis match, I’ll say no, I cannot.

“In a few months I don’t know the way the state of affairs goes to enhance. Hopefully it’s going to enhance the fitting means, and I’m positive the individuals who manage the occasion, the U.S.T.A., need a secure occasion, identical just like the French federation,” Nadal informed tennis journalists on a Zoom name.

The males’s and ladies’s tennis excursions have been on maintain since mid-March, when the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., was canceled on the eve of the qualifying match. Nadal and his staff have been already in Indian Wells.

He returned to Majorca, one in all Spain’s Balearic Islands, and spent greater than two months in lockdown earlier than resuming restricted on-court coaching final month. Spain, which is starting to reopen, has been hit onerous by the pandemic, with greater than 240,000 confirmed instances and roughly 30,000 deaths.

Though tennis exhibitions are being organized in Europe and the United States, the excursions have postponed play till not less than August with a call anticipated later this month on the U.S. Open.

United States Tennis Association officers have expressed cautious optimism. The Open would very probably be performed with out spectators and with gamers restricted to decreased assist groups and topic to frequent testing, with their actions restricted to official inns and the match web site to defend their well being.

“I am confident they will make the right decision in the right moment to make sure if the tournament is played it will be in safe circumstances,” Nadal stated. “If not, in my opinion, it doesn’t make sense.”

Later on Thursday, in an interview with the Eurosport community, Nadal stated it might be “tough and strange” to play with out spectators.

“If the situation is not allowing to play with fans, like everybody, I will adapt,” he stated. “But of course I hope that the situation improves, and I really hope we will be able to play with fans very, very soon because tennis and sport without the fans loses almost every single thing.”

On the videoconference, Nadal was requested if he was involved concerning the U.S. Open due to the “current political climate” within the United States, which has been the scene of mass demonstrations after the dying of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis.

“The situation has been very ugly for the last couple of days; when you see all this stuff, it’s terrible,” Nadal stated. “I really hope that the country is able to control all this terrible situation that a lot of cities are living and be able to come back to a positive life respecting everybody and of course trying to live with peace. That’s the main thing.”

Nadal stated it was too early to determine on whether or not he would play in each the U.S. Open and the French Open, that are probably to be separated by only a two-week hole if they’re performed in any respect.

“We will make decisions thinking about what we believe will be the best for my tennis, the best for my future and the best for my body,” he stated.

Nadal stated he felt it was necessary that the excursions resume play solely when world journey restrictions have been lifted to permit all eligible gamers entry to occasions. He stated he remained unsure whether or not tournaments might resume in 2020.

“We have a worldwide tour,” he stated. “We need to be clear. We need to be responsible. We need to be sending a strong message, and we need to be a positive example for the society. We need to understand we are suffering an unprecedented situation, and my feeling is, we need to come back when all the players from all the countries of the world are able to travel and in safe circumstances.”

But Nadal conceded that he may need to compromise on that precept and “probably will play” if the tour restarts with some opponents’ actions nonetheless restricted.

“But my feeling will be that we are not being 100 percent correct,” he stated. “And I want to see my sport being 100 percent fair and correct especially under these circumstances.”

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