If there hadn't been a global pandemic, we would now find ourselves talking about the second week of Wimbledon. The 2020 edition of the Championships, which was canceled due to the emergency for the first time since World War II, could allow Roger Federer to take his ninth title on Church Road, or his eternal rival Rafael Nadal to match him share 20 Grand Slam titles.
The Spanish phenomenon will have Roland Garros available to attempt the historic connection, while Federer will remain firm until the beginning of next season after undergoing a double surgery on his right knee. The Spanish champion gave a long interview with Jon Wertheim (Sports Illustrated's first pen), where he illustrated the advantages of residing in his hometown together with the people who saw him grow up.
Nadal on his island home
"I think I'm a very intense person with a lot of energy. I live life and sports at maximum intensity. This is how I feel it" - Rafael Nadal told Jon Wertheim. "For me, coming back to Mallorca means coming back to a normal life.
And normal life makes me happy. I'm not just Rafa Nadal, the tennis player. I become Rafa Nadal the human being again" - he added. But it was another uncle - Toni Nadal, then a local tennis instructor - who recognized Rafa's talent.
"Normally, when you throw the ball to most kids, they wait for the ball to come to them…but when he was three years old, he went straight for it. There were no perks to being the instructor's nephew – quite the opposite.
Toni singled him out, making him pick up balls and sweep the court after practice" - Toni Nadal stated. The US Open and The French Open are going to be played in the same month. And Rafa’s decision to take part in the Mutua Madrid Open might signal that he is going to skip the US Open for the French Open.
Moreover, the Madrid Open begins a day after the US Open which creates more doubt over Rafa’s participation at the Grand Slam event in New York. By doing this, Rafa can be a real contender to snatch the world no.1 rank from Novak Djokovic that instead “needs” to go to the US Open if he wants to get additional points.
In 2019, the Serbian sensation lost in the 4th round of the US Open when he had to retire when facing Stan Wawrinka. However, Novak is not really keen on going to New York given the current situation.