World no. 2 Rafael Nadal is finally back on the practice court, hitting balls for the first time since March at his Academy in Manacor. The 19-time Major champion went back from Indian Wells when the coronavirus halted the action, staying at home and hoping for some positive news about a possible season restart.
Instead of that, players will have to wait at least until August to start competing again, with a realistic chance of not seeing any ATP event in the rest of 2020. With or without official tennis, Rafa is back on the court for the first time in more than two months, starting with light practice and hoping to increase the intensity in the weeks to come.
Nadal is also eager to host other players at his Academy and compete against them in front of the TV cameras, offering their fans a chance to see them in action. Despite some ups and downs at the beginning of the last season, Rafael Nadal bounced back to challenge Novak Djokovic for the year-end no.
1 spot. After three straight semi-final losses on clay, the Spaniard won the title in Rome and grabbed the 12th Roland Garros crown, adding 3000 points to his tally and going all the way in Montreal and New York on hard courts to control the ATP Race before the closing events of the year.
At the US Open, Rafa prevailed against Daniil Medvedev in five sets 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 year ahead of Djokovic, securing the fifth year-end no.
1 honor and closing the season with the title for Spain at the Davis Cup. The ATP Cup was Nadal's first stop in 2020, leading Spain into the final together with Roberto Bautista Agut. Novak Djokovic beat him to secure the title for Serbia before Dominic Thiem ousted Rafa in the quarters at the Australian Open, handing the ATP throne to Djokovic who celebrated the eighth crown in Melbourne.
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 to stay with his family in the previous two and a half months.
The greatest clay-courter of all time will not be able to show his skills on the favorite surface this spring, believing 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 too.