Since early March, the coronavirus pandemic has halted the tennis season, sending the players back home from Indian Wells. After five months, the ATP circuit should restart in August in Washington, with the organizers announcing the calendar until October.
Besides Washington, we should get two tournaments in New York, Cincinnati Masters and the US Open, with Kitzbuhel, Madrid, Rome and Roland Garros reserved for the clay warriors in September. For the players from the top, it should be challenging to embrace two Majors and three Masters 1000 events on two different surfaces and continents in seven weeks, requiring smart planning moves.
Toni Nadal said Rafael Nadal is yet to decide about his schedule once the season resumes, with five important tournaments in such a short period, three which he won a year ago.
Toni believes it will be challenging for Nadal and Djokovic to pick the best schedule in the first months of the restart, as they have to skip at least some of these higher-tier events to recover and compete at the usual level.
The famous coach reminded that Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer couldn't afford to play week after week at their age, especially after such a long break.
Roger Federer will skip the rest of 2020, competing at the Australian Open in January and undergoing two knee surgeries to call it a season. Novak Djokovic has been the player to beat in the opening two months of the broken season, leading Serbia towards the inaugural ATP final following a win over Rafael Nadal in the final.
Competing at the Australian Open as the favorite, Novak earned the 17th Major crown after a hard-fought triumph against Dominic Thiem in five sets, dethroning Rafael Nadal from world no. 1 position and lifting another trophy in Dubai in the closing days of February.
Rafael Nadal reached the final at the ATP Cup with Roberto Bautista Agut and other teammates, losing to Serbia and heading to Melbourne where he stood a win away from keeping the no. 1 position in his hands. Instead of that, he failed to Dominic Thiem in the quarters, making a trip to Kuwait and South Africa and heading back home before earning the 85th ATP crown in Acapulco.
In 2019, Nadal won Rome, Roland Garros and the US Open, and it should be interesting to see what tournaments he is going to pick and play in less than two months. "I have no idea what Rafael will do, but he is yet to decide.
I find it a little ugly what the ATP has done with the calendar. It is almost unaffordable for older people like Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer to play weekly."