World no. 2 and the 19-time Major champion Rafael Nadal is spending the quarantine time at home in Mallorca with his wife, urging everyone to stay safe and follow the rules in these troubled times caused by a coronavirus. Due to a pandemic, the tennis season is halted at least until the second week of June, with slim chances to see the action on grass as well as the virus still refuses to slow down, especially in western Europe.
Nadal went to Indian Wells after claiming the title in Acapulco but couldn't compete for the fourth title in the desert, with the organizers canceling the opening two Masters 1000 events of the season and sending the players back homes.
Rafa left Indian Wells some five days after he arrived, heading back home to Porto Cristo in Mallorca and working on physical exercises while taking care of his Academy and all the students and staff. Just six weeks after the victorious Davis Cup Finals last November, Nadal led Spain at the inaugural ATP Cup in early January and scored wins over Nikoloz Basilashvili, Pablo Cuevas and Yoshihito Nishioka, pushing his country into the quarters together with Roberto Bautista Agut.
Facing the first serious challenge, Rafa suffered a 6-4, 7-6 loss to David Goffin after grueling two hours and 23 minutes, bouncing back in the doubles clash to keep Spain alive in the competition. In the semis, Nadal battled past Alex de Minaur after another marathon to propel his country into the final where he stood no chance against Novak Djokovic who beat him 6-2, 7-6, missing the opportunity to conquer another team event when Djokovic and Troicki defeated Spain in the deciding doubles encounter.
Chasing the first Australian Open title since 2009, Nadal ousted Hugo Dellien, Federico Delbonis, Pablo Carreno Busta and Nick Kyrgios after an intense battle to reach the quarter-final, standing one victory away from keeping the no.
1 spot ahead of Djokovic regardless of future results. Nonetheless, inspired Dominic Thiem toppled Rafa in four epic sets after four hours and ten minutes, standing strong in three tie breaks and allowing Novak Djokovic to become world no.
1 again after beating the Austrian in five challenging sets in the final. After Melbourne, Nadal had to stay on the road for a week, opening Rafa Nadal Academy in Kuwait on February 5 and playing against Roger Federer in Cape Town two days later in front of the record-breaking crowd of 52,000, heading back home to Mallorca before conquering the 85th title in Acapulco, his last event on the Tour so far.
At the moment, it is hard to speak about the possible restart of the season, with all the players hoping to at least play Wimbledon and the rest of this troubling year caused by a dangerous virus that has produced more than 18,000 deaths so far.