ATP Tour

Nadal expecting lengthy wait before tennis returns

Rafael Nadal (AFP)
Rafael Nadal (AFP)

Rafael Nadal thinks the global nature of tennis means there is little chance tournaments will go ahead any time soon as sport continues to be paralysed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Novak Djokovic also anticipates a lengthy delay before tennis can be played even behind closed doors, with the world No 1 expecting players to have to wait a "few months".

The French Open, which Nadal has won a record 12 times, has been postponed until September, shortly after the US Open, while Wimbledon was cancelled earlier this month for the first time since World War II.

But the prospect of either Grand Slams at Roland Garros or Flushing Meadows being played with fans appears increasingly remote.

"Tennis is a global sport," Nadal told Spanish radio station Onda Cero on Wednesday night. "We go from country to country and a lot of people have to move around.

"It seems difficult to me for any big tournament to be played in the short or medium term."

Football's major leagues are preparing to play behind closed doors for several weeks to complete their seasons and avoid losing considerable sums of money from broadcasting contracts.

But tennis tournaments are more reliant on fans for their income, making it more complicated to stage competitions in empty stadiums.

"It is not an easy decision," Djokovic told the same programme. "I am ready but I think we have to wait a few months."

"If you could play behind closed doors, I would be delighted but I think it's very difficult," added Nadal.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
loading... Live
Bangladesh 64/2
West Indies 122/10
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
41% - 11368 votes
Cricket
12% - 3268 votes
Football
19% - 5117 votes
Athletics
2% - 683 votes
Boxing
1% - 268 votes
Cycling
2% - 636 votes
Golf
5% - 1405 votes
Motorsport
8% - 2326 votes
Tennis
3% - 919 votes
Water sports
1% - 244 votes
American sports
1% - 334 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 893 votes
Vote