Despite some ups and downs at the beginning of the season and on his beloved clay, Rafael Nadal bounced back in Rome last year to challenge Novak Djokovic for the year-end no. 1 spot. The Spaniard won the title in Rome and grabbed the 12th Roland Garros crown, adding 3000 points to his tally and repeating that in Canada and the US Open to control the ATP Race before the closing events of the year.
In New York, Rafa prevailed against Daniil Medvedev for the 19th Major crown, moving one behind Roger Federer and hoping to match or pass the Swiss in 2020. Carried by that momentum, Nadal managed to finish the previous year ahead of Djokovic, securing the fifth year-end no.
1 honor and closing the season with the title at the Davis Cup. Kicking off the new one at the ATP Cup, Nadal lost the final to Novak Djokovic, failing to deliver another team event crown for his country and losing the ATP throne after falling to Dominic Thiem in the quarter-final of the Australian Open, with Djokovic getting back there following the eighth Melbourne trophy.
After a suitable rest, Nadal claimed the 85th ATP title in Acapulco at the end of February, competing in the last tournament before the coronavirus pandemic and flying back home from Indian Wells and staying with his family in the previous two months.
The greatest clay-courter of all time will not be able to show his skills on the favorite surface this spring and he believes the season is done and dusted, with no chance of staging any tournaments in the remaining months of 2020.
The Spaniard hopes that everything will be fine until the Australian Open next January, although he is worried about the start of the 2021 season as well. "I would love to see a restart of the season, but I doubt it. I am more concerned about the Australian Open than about what will happen at the end of this year. For me, the 2020 season is pretty much lost and I only hope we can start all over at the beginning of 2021."