While the appearance of Djokovic and Nadal on the list does not guarantee that they will end up competing in the top-tier Masters 1000 event starting Aug. 20, the list does suggest that 16 of the ATP’s top 20 players are prepared to participate in the reboot of the tour.
Nadal is a greater question mark. He has said he is “not OK” with the USTA’s insistence that the American Grand Slam take place without fans in attendance. The 12-time French Open champion has been practicing, but only on red clay. This year’s French Open will limit attendance when it starts Sept. 27.
Although entered, Nadal remains a significant question mark. The left-hander has been training on clay, been confirmed by Feliciano Lopez to be entered in Madrid—which begins immediately after the US Open—and will be permitted to retain his 2019 US Open champion points for another year as part of the ATP’s revised ranking structure.
With neither tour penalizing players for withdrawing from events, a lot could change in the coming weeks—such as Nadal’s status—as players keep a close eye on COVID-19 trends in the U.S. and weigh pathways to their return on tour.
- ‘Rafael Nadal was not easy to train during lockdown, but we are now ready to play,’ says coach | tennished.net
“It is not easy at all,” Moya answered when asked in a Facebook Q&A event what lockdown was like for Rafael Nadal and his camp.
“It is never easy to remain without playing for months. Fortunately, we have now resumed and it seems to us that we are on our way”
Moya has coached Rafael Nadal since 2016, and it is apparently every bit as great an experience as you’d imagine.
“Rafa is always open to receiving advice for improvement,” Moya explained.
After taking on the fan-led training session, Nadal commented, “Fans have been without tennis for months now, particularly mine since besides my practice routines at the Rafa Nadal academy I haven’t been active, so I really enjoyed putting on a special event for them.”
“Kia has been by my side since I was 17 years old and has played a big part in my journey as a professional tennis player and as a person. I’m excited to see what the next five years bring both on and off the court,” he added.
- Rafael Nadal: ‘I enjoy the challenges of playing Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, but…’ | tennishead.net
“My favourite opponents are one that I win against normally,” Rafael Nadal said in a Facebook Q&A.
“Well, I don’t know, I enjoy the challenges to playing against Roger Federer of course, against Novak Djokovic, against Andy Murray, against David Ferrer. I think there are a lot of great opponents and everyone gives you a different challenge and you need to adjust your game to be competitive. I don’t have a favourite opponent, I just enjoy the fact that every day we compete against a different one.”
VIDEO: 17-year-old Rafael Nadal takes on Morocco’s Younes El Aynaoui in Round 2 of US Open 2003