Rafa Roundup: Rafael Nadal doesn’t agree with Novak Djokovic on quarantine

Photo via Australian Open


Rafael Nadal believes players should be looking to adapt and find “solutions” after Novak Djokovic hinted at a boycott should quarantining have to continue ahead of tournaments this season.

“I don’t know, but if I am not wrong, I don’t see events that we have to do quarantine to play in the next couple of months,” Nadal said after his quarter-final defeat to Stefanos Tsitsipas.

“I am right or I am wrong? There is an event that we have to do quarantine before playing? Because if okay, yes, I agree, but is there any tournament that this thing going to happen? Can you answer me that?”

“But on the other hand, if we stop the tour, why and how and when we will be able to come back, and a lot of jobs are going to suffer a lot. I mean, not only players. A lot of people are living from our sport, no? If we stop our sport again, a lot of people are going to suffer, no?”

Nadal is the greatest clay-court player of all time; of that, there is no doubt. And he’s an all-time great overall because his prowess isn’t limited to clay — he has won five hard-court Slams and two Wimbledons.

His 13 French Open titles, however, are obviously the key to his position in the major titles race; he’s won only two Slams outside of Paris in the past seven years (the 2017 and 2019 US Opens). If he finishes atop the heap, it will be because of Roland Garros, and as he proved last fall, his dominance in Paris is far from over. He’s won four straight French Opens, and he didn’t drop a set on the way to last year’s championship.

Obviously, a title in Melbourne would have benefited Nadal greatly, and blowing a two-set advantage is never anything but costly. But this isn’t his event.

VIDEO: ‘No More Jokes!’ – Rafa Nadal Makes Emergency Press Conference Exit Due To Cramps | Eurosport

The Spanish great was determined not to become the butt of jokes again – so made a hasty exit this time. However, he later returned to explain: “After so many jokes that there were in New York I decided to go out the door so that there were no more jokes.”

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  1. Better for you next year at Australia Rafa. I hope you win your 2nd. Australian Open. Well I don’t usually comment in this regard but I guess John McEnroe got his wish. He said he wasn’t rooting for Rafa. & he said something to the effect that “the guy won 29 major’s already— he is tied with Federer,” so I’m not really rooting for him ! In my opinion that comment didn’t have to be said. I think Mr. McEnroe is showing his envy of Rafa ( or could it be pure jealousy? ). Please stay well Rafa. Hope to see you on the court soon. Love you. Mary Lynn

  2. Medvedev is through to the final against Djokovic. It’s going to be a game of wits, so I’m hoping Medvedev can win his maiden slam.

  3. It’s a difficult situation. Several of this week’s Champions League and Europa League matches have had to be moved to neutral venues because some countries exempt elite sports players from quarantine but others don’t – it was hardly ideal, especially for the teams who didn’t get to play at their own grounds, but it was a workable solution. Italy’s one country that does exempt elite sports players, and anyone planning to play Queen’s, Eastbourne and Wimbledon would be in the UK for 5 weeks anyway … although, hopefully, things will have eased by then.

    It’s not really up to the ATP, though – it’s up to the health and political authorities in each country concerned. A lot of countries have restrictions on people coming from certain countries but not others, and it certainly wouldn’t be fair if players from Country X had to spend 2 weeks in a hotel pre tournament but players from Country Y didn’t. I don’t know what the answer is, but something’s going to have to be sorted out.

    • It’s a very difficult situation for all involved but what will it take for the ATP to have a dialogue with players so that the ATP can approach each country with a Plan A, B , or maybe even a Plan C. All of this takes time. ND did focus on the European swing. But with everything these days, the coronavirus [and maybe it’s variants] will have the final word. I truly hope that there can be a satisfactory agreement among the various parties to be able to continue with the tour.

      For the Olympics, Japan is trying to get everyone vaccinated in time for the games.

  4. Based upon Djoker’s previous beliefs, actions, and results, he has no credibility. His on court success
    does not make his pronouncements logical or viable. The variants of Covid-19 are changing our lives,
    and survival requires adaptation. Tennis players, as well as everyone else, have decisions to make
    regarding personal safety and economic survival. Worldwide, it has become a walk on a tightrope-
    your ability to adapt is shaping your life. There is no simple answer, but Rafa’s approach makes sense.

  5. Rafa is our champion wether people like it or not, we believe in him and will always support him in winning or losing He is our chapion and we love him more vavamos Rafa rather next slam is yours

  6. I listened to ND’s presser and didn’t find any “hint of a boycott” in any reply. What he said was that there has to be dialogue between players and the ATP to find a solution for players to be able to practice before a tournament. No suggestion of eliminating quarantines was made.

    He suggested a type of NBA bubble or moving tournaments to a central area during the European swing to avoid travel restrictions where players would spend a few weeks here, some weeks there. On numerous occasions he pointed to the abnormally high number of injured players during the AO.

    He said he was told that the lower ranked players participated in the AO because prize money was an attractive incentive but in a 250 tournament the hardships outweigh any potential monetary rewards.

    On the other hand, Rafa cites loss of income for those who make a living from the sport. But without the ATP there are no players and without players no one gets paid.

    • Very much appreciated when Rafa responded to a question about the bubble by mentioning that many players have families to consider.

      Joker and Zverev don’t seem bothered by being away for four week periods off and on but this may not suit others. As we have seen this also impacts coaches decisions e.g. Moya.

      The NBA is not a good comparison as all the players are U.S. based and would have much easier travel itineraries going back and forth to the neutral location.

  7. I’ve only just managed to bring myself to listen to Rafa’s post match presser. I must say that he lifted my spirits with his positivity. Same old qyestions about his AO record….ughhhh!

    Rafa is always philosophical in victory or defeat and even though the loss to Stefanos was painful (I could hear it in his voice) he’s prepared to push the reset button and keep working hard.

    He’s right about the approach to future possible quarantines. We don’t know what conditions are going to be like for the rest if the season, so you have to adapt to each situation and not make a blanket decision to boycott.

    P.S. Not too keen on that murial of himself that he’s standing in front of – looks scary!

    • Rafa’s losing pressers always bring me comfort. He’s so balanced, so wise. Nick Kyrgios of all people posted a bit of Rafa’s presser with a one word comment: “Quality”.

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