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Rafael Nadal: Tennis Tours should not begin again until it is 100% safe and fair

Rafael Nadal believes that the ATP and WTA Tours should not begin again until it’s 100 percent safe and 100 percent fair, with all players, from all countries, able to play.

Rafael Nadal, 2020 Acapulco Rafael Nadal, 2020 Acapulco

The world No 2 also says he would not play the US Open if it were being held today and that the Tours should take some more time before resuming.

“If we are not able to organise a tournament safe enough and fair enough, and when I say fair enough, every player from every single part of the world needs to have the chance to play the tournament, we can’t play tennis, that’s my feeling,” Nadal said in a Zoom press conference with international media on Thursday.

“The key is of course to find a medicine that helps us to be sure we can travel, we can compete, play tennis without being scared about having the virus and bringing the virus back home. The feeling is strange, I think the information is not 100 percent clear yet so my feeling is we need to wait a little bit more.”

Nadal: “We need to be a positive example for society”

Nadal, who said he had only begun practising two weeks ago after two and a half months in lockdown because of the Coronavirus pandemic, said tennis should set an example by doing the right thing.

“We need to be clear. We need to be responsible, we need to sending Instagram messages and we need to be a positive example for society,” he said. “We need to understand that we are suffering an unprecedented situation and my feeling is we need to come back when all players from all countries of the world are able to travel under safe circumstances.

“If not, I would say in my personal opinion, we will come back, yes, and I will probably play, maybe yes, but my feeling will be we are not being 100 percent correct. I want to see my sport being 100 percent fair and correct, especially under these circumstances.”

Rafael Nadal in confinement

Nadal said he is not overly concerned if it is not possible for the ATP and WTA Tours to resume in 2020.

“We are in a worldwide sport…when you mix people from every single part of the world the complications are completely different, so I am a little bit worried about that,” he said. “But I am positive and I hope to keep receiving positive news. I don’t know if we will play tennis in 2020. That does not really worry me too much, what worries me is to come back to normal life and comeback to the healthy life and healthy situation for most of the people.”

Though the ATP and WTA Tours are suspended until at least August 1, the US Open is still planning to fulfil its August 31-September 13 slot while Roland-Garros moved from its customary May-June dates to a September 20 or September 27 start date.

Nadal said playing the US Open, with conditions as they are today, is not something he would countenance.

“If you asked me today if I want to travel today to New York to play a tennis tournament I would say, no, I will not. But in a couple of months…hopefully the situation is going to improve in the right way. I am confident they will make the right decisions in the right moments, that if the tournament is going to be played, it’s going to be played under extremely safe circumstances. If not, in my opinion, it doesn’t make sense. We need to be responsible.”

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