(Reuters) – Rafael Nadal is very pessimistic about the possibility of tennis returning to normal anytime soon because of the coronavirus pandemic that shut down the sport last month.
Professional tennis has been suspended until the end of July, at the earliest, and Rafa said Sunday that serious problems stand in the way of a resumption.
“From my point of view, I’m very pessimistic that the circuit can resume normal activity,” the No. 2-ranked player in the world said in an online chat organized by the Spanish Tennis Federation. “In tennis, you need to travel every week, stay in hotels, go to different countries.
“Even if we play without an audience, to organize any event, you need a lot of people involved, which cannot be ignored. At an international level, I see a serious problem.”
The coronavirus pandemic has decimated the world sports calendar, forcing the postponement of the Olympics, which includes tennis, and the cancellation of Wimbledon.
French Open organizers have rescheduled that event for the end of September, shortly after the US Open, although Rafa said public health should take priority over tennis tournaments.
“We have already said many times we are in a very difficult moment, for everyone,” he said. “Step by step, it looks like things are slightly less bad, but we’ve been through one and a half very tough months, lots of irreparable losses and other losses that are less important but without doubt will cause suffering in society in the following months.
“I hope it will be months not years, because it’s also an economic issue, as well. Lots of people are going to lose their jobs. These are sad moments when you see so many people dying.”
Rafa said that even when tennis does resume, the players will need to recover their fitness levels.
“It will be a very tough job to regain fitness, and you will need lots of discipline and lots of suffering,” he said. “The sooner we can resume activity, the better. From the point of view about going back to competitions, I’m pessimistic.
“But there are many other things more important than tennis.”
Spain has been especially badly hit by the virus, with 223,759 infections and 23,190 deaths.
I’m missing playing tennis with you. I hope I watch the big tennis tournament again.
VAMOS SWEETHEART!!!!!!!:) XOXOXO KEEP SOUND AND SAFE….REGARDLESS, YOU KEEP TO WHAT MAKES SENSE. SO SAD ABOUT THE MANY LIVES LOST IN SPAIN AND GLOBALLY….MAY THEY BE RESTING IN PEACE AND THEIR BELOVED FAMILIES FIND COMFORT. SWEETHEART, KEEP DOING WHAT YOU’RE DOING TO PASS THIS TIME IN GRACE AND GOODNESS AND GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES!!!!!:) WE MISS YOU!!!!!:) AND LOVE YOU!!!!!:) XOXOXO
So Rafa was beaten by Andy Murray in the virtual Madrid Open on playstation. Thumb control replaces racquet control. Nevermind Rafa. Don’t take it too badly, as you’re the boss when it comes to the latter and that’s what matters.
l really miss watching you play tennis and coming to your lovely mallorca where we have had years of happy times there, this year was going to be 3 month we all have to stay safe and that important at this moment in time please take of you and your family and we see you and your lovely mallorca some time soon vamos rafa.
I would love to be able to watch live tennis again but we have to be pasión and be healthy this pandemic vamossssssssss Rafa we miss you on the tennis court 😘🎾😘🎾🙏🎾🙏😘🎾🙏😘🙏
Thank you Rafa. If nothing else, it is good to hear your voice via e mail. I watch daily years of tennis on tennis channel and so enjoy the years of beautiful plays and sportsmanship.
I pray for the world as we knew it to return soon. Stay safe!!!
Loving the Virtual Madrid Open, although I did panic when Feli said Rafa’d hurt his back. I’d love to see tennis back, but, sadly, Rafa is right. Argentina’s just banned all flights until September, and I suspect that other countries will do the same … I’ve got holidays booked for July and October, but have accepted that they almost certainly won’t happen. Even if flights aren’t banned, countries may well insist that anyone arriving from abroad self-isolate for a fortnight, so you’d need to stay somewhere for at least 2 1/2 weeks … maybe to lose in the first round. And, as Rafa said, it’s not just the players – a lot of other people would be involved. I’ve forgotten the number now, but we were told earlier this week how many non-playing staff are needed for a Premier League football match to take place, even behind closed doors.
This whole thing is a nightmare. Stay safe, everyone!
Can’t wait to see you back on the court. Vamos Rafa ❤️
There is much more than tennis to be considered as Rafa states. It would be a tall order to be mentally and physically ready to play a slam such as the US Open or the French Open by late
summer or September, having missed so many tournaments. The world is still in such disorder, and people need to regain their sense of safety and stability before turning to sports. While we are always eager to see Rafa on court, it would be foolish without the pandemic under control.
Thank you for your honest opinion 🙏👏👍🤛💪🎾❤️
I would love to be able to watch live tennis again this year but I am also prepared it might not happen……🤔😔 Rafa is right, “public health should take priority over tennis tournaments.”
Take care, Rafa❤️ I had fun watching you play against Denis this morning😉 Hope to see you tomorrow, good luck🍀
Stay healthy and safe everyone 🥰
Rafa got a bagel against Murray 0-3, he gave a 👍 to Murray.
Then he lost to Paire as well 1-3, he 👏 for Paire.
❤️ his reactions, I think Rafa didn’t practice enough lol
Rafa didn’t make the quarterfinals……I will be rooting for Diego and David Ferrer now.
I am thrilled to find out Rafa’s charity match against DjMariio is scheduled Not Before 16:30 local time tomorrow. This match will be even shorter than the round robin match. I have enjoyed every minute watching Rafa live yesterday and today holding a controller instead of a racquet😊 Hopefully, he would beat DjMariio so there is another chance watching him in the charity quarterfinals Not Before 20:30 local time. Good luck Rafa🍀
Thank you to the organization, and all players – men and women, especially Rafa, for the entertainment during this uncertain time🙏❤️
It’s really sad, because many players, especially the younger ones, have worked themselves up to peak this year. Now, they will have to start all over again. So much can happen in a year’s time that can throw a monkey wrench into a career.
I watch past matches of Rafa almost every day on Tennis Channel and while it’s really enjoyable , it’s still a giant miss to not have live tennis . It’s unimaginable to believe that our world has come down to this pandemic calamity and the pain it’s caused . Rafa put it best that he hopes we are talking months not years before the world returns to a facsimile of normality . Vamos Rafa and prayers for humanity and the world .