Rafael Nadal says that the 2020 tennis season is “practically lost” due to the coronavirus pandemic

Andy Murray of Great Britain plays a forehand shot during his Davis Cup Group Stage match against Tallon Griekspoor of the Netherlands during Day Three of the 2019 Davis Cup at La Caja Magica on November 20, 2019 in Madrid, Spain.
The ATP and WTA tours were suspended at least until mid-July, with Wimbledon has already canceled and the French Open, where Nadal won a 12-title record, postponed to the end of September.

However, the 19-time Grand Slam champion is doubtful about returning to the pitch anytime this year.

“I hope we will be able to return this year, but I don’t think we will,” he told Spanish newspaper El Pais on Tuesday. “Unfortunately, I would like to register to be ready for 2021 – hopefully.

“I’m more worried about the Australian Open (in January) than what is happening at the end of this year. I see 2020 practically lost. I hope I can start next year, that’s what I want.”

Nadal is devoting some of his spare time to helping those in need and has worked with Spanish NBA star Pau Gasol and has joined “Red Cross Responds”, a project that aims to distribute food and assistance packages and provide support to over 1.3 million vulnerable people across the country.

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

“We are trying to bring as many people together as possible to create something beautiful,” said Nadal. “I am very grateful for everyone’s collaborative effort: athletes, artists, companies, federations, citizens.

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

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“In the end, being able to hug your brother or sister relieves some of your pain and imagines that they haven’t even been able to do it. You have to be positive and keep going. There is no other choice.”

Tennis returns … sort of

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

The world no. 143 Yannick Hanfmann defeated Dustin Brown, the tournament’s top name, in consecutive streaks to claim the title in rather unusual circumstances.

The show took place without fans and there were only three people at a time on the field: the two players and the referee. The players entered and exited through different doors and sat facing each other, so they never crossed the net.

The games were the best of three series and the series were shortened from the first to four games, with draws to three and the next point wins when the games reach the minimum.

The tournament was organized to help lower level players earn revenue during the pandemic.

Novak Djokovic, the president of the ATP Player Council, asked the best players to contribute to a fund set up by the governing bodies of the game to help those below, but the world no. 3 Dominic Thiem recently rejected the idea.

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