Rafael Nadal Says 2020 Season Is 'Practically Lost,' Preparing for 2021

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMay 5, 2020

Spain's Rafael Nadal holds up a ball as he prepares to serve in his second-round match against Serbia's Miomir Kecmanovic, at the Mexican Tennis Open in Acapulco, Mexico, in the early morning hours of Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Rebecca Blackwell/Associated Press

Rafael Nadal sounds like he isn't counting on having any tennis until next year because of the coronavirus pandemic.  

Speaking to Spanish newspaper El Pais (h/t Tales Azzoni of the Associated Press), Nadal explained why he would prefer the sport to start planning for 2021 instead of trying to salvage anything from this year. 

"I would sign up right now just to being ready for 2021," he said. "I'm more concerned with the Australian Open than with what happens later this year. I think 2020 has been practically lost. I'm hopeful of being able to start next year.''

One concern voiced by Nadal is the difficulty of trying to have players travel from country to country for tournaments amid the pandemic. 

There haven't been any ATP Tour events since the Dubai Tennis Championships, Mexican Open and Chile Open all took place between Feb. 24-March 1. 

The ATP and WTA have suspended all tournaments through at least July 13. If play is able to resume, the ATP will hold the Hamburg European Open from Hamburg, Germany and Swedish Open from Bastad, Sweden. 

Wimbledon has already been canceled. The French Open was pushed back from its May 24 start date to Sept. 20. The U.S. Open is still scheduled for its original Aug. 24-Sept. 13 dates, but United States Tennis Association CEO Mike Dowse told the AP (h/t Boston.com) a decision to postpone or cancel is expected by June. 

Nadal won the Mexican Open in his last event before the pandemic halted the season. He defeated Taylor Fritz 6-3, 6-2 in the final.