Many - among fans and insiders - have hypothesized that this long stop due to the pandemic could be an advantage especially for the players with more experience, who have had the time to rest their physique and perhaps extend their career.
Not everyone thinks so. Rafael Nadal, for example, expressed some doubts when speaking from his home in Mallorca. The former World number 1 will try this year to hook the 20 Slam titles of Roger Federer, unable to take the field in 2020 after undergoing a new knee surgery.
The Swiss phenomenon will not return to the court before the start of the 2021 season.
Nadal: 'I am passionate about coming back on the tour'
“I think longer stops for the older bodies are tougher than for younger bodies because it’s more difficult to get back to 100 per cent,” the Spaniard told international journalists via Zoom the day after his 34th birthday.
“But at the same time, of course, we have experience too. I have the experience of injuries that I’ve had in the past, so in some ways we know how to come back. I can’t tell you if we will be able to play longer or not – and we will never know.
We will never know what would have happened if this pandemic had not happened. I am in a country where we couldn’t go outside the house for two and a half months,” Rafael Nadal stated. “I’ve only been able to practise for the last couple of weeks.
For the previous two and a half months I couldn’t even hold a racket in my hand because I don’t have a tennis court at my home. I live in an apartment. As you can imagine I need to take things step by step. I’m just trying to avoid injuries.
That’s the main thing today. To avoid injuries, I need to practise step by step and increase the amount of work every single week. I’m not practising every single day. I’m just practising a couple of days a week and I’m not doing three-hour practices.
Sometimes I practise for just one hour, sometimes for one hour and a half, that’s all. I’m just trying to make positive preparations for what might happen in the next couple of months. I am passionate about coming back on the tour and keeping playing, hopefully for a couple more years, and keeping enjoying one of the things that I like the most, enjoying playing tennis in a full stadium with the energy of the crowd,” the 19 time Grand Slam finished.