Toni Nadal, the uncle and former coach of Spanish tennis champion Rafael Nadal, says he was not surprised by his nephew's decision to withdraw from the US Open. Nadal announced that he would not be playing the US Open due to his concerns about the current health crisis.
Uncle Toni Nadal on Rafael Nadal's decision to skip the US Open Grand Slam tournament
Speaking to "El Larguero', Toni Nadal says, "I was not surprised by the decision, it was something that he had been pondering .
I have spoken with him in recent weeks and I was doubting (whether he would play the US Open). I think Rafael has made a prudent decision." Uncle Toni, as he famously known, says that tennis is a more difficult sport as compared to soccer during the current health crisis due to the global nature of the sport.
"Tennis is not like soccer. In soccer they travel 24 hours before, they play and they leave . In a tennis tournament you can stay for about 25 days and in 25 days you have many opportunities to be in contact with the virus."
During the interview, he also says that Rafa Nadal has been training and is in good physical shape. "I have been to Rafa's training today and I see that he is in good shape. An athlete needs to compete and when you lengthen the training without tournaments you lose concentration, but as now Rome and Paris are approaching, Rafa already knows that now is the time to prepare well "
Rafael Nadal has won 19 Grand Slam titles in his career. In his decision to withdraw from the tournament, Nadal had said, "After many thoughts I have decided not to play this year's US Open. The situation is very complicated worldwide, the COVID-19 cases are increasing, it looks like we still don't have control of it.This is a decision I never wanted to take but I have decided to follow my heart this time and for the time being I rather not travel."
Nadal is a former champion at the US Open, having won the event on four occasions including last year. Nadal has also won a record twelve French Open titles, two Wimbledon titles and one Australian Open title in his career.