Rafael Nadal rocked the tennis world by announcing his renunciation of defending the title he won last year at the US Open. Although not an unexpected decision, the former World number 1 had been tempted to reconsider his position after the cancellation of the Mutua Madrid Open.
The Masters 1000 in the Spanish capital, which was supposed to take place from 13th to 20th September, has been canceled due to the surge in infections in recent weeks. The Majorcan phenomenon will concentrate all his energies on Roland Garros, aware that - in the event of a 13th triumph in Paris - he would equal the 20 Grand Slam record of eternal rival Roger Federer.
Meanwhile, Nadal attended a virtual press conference from his residence in Mallorca, where he revealed all his concern for the resumption of the season.
Nadal on the current season
"My heart tells me that it would be better to do that (focus on 2021 and take the current season as lost), but there are many other interests," Rafael Nadal said.
"(Never) would have wanted 2020 like this," said the Spaniard. "Neither I nor anyone else. Afterwards, what may happen in 2021 will be seen and I will face it with the greatest hope, yes, it is coming, and with the greatest possible professionalism.
It has caught me at an advanced age and at a good professional moment in my career. So, positivity at a professional level has not been there in any case," Nadal asserted. Rafael Nadal also spoke at length about the cancellation of the Madrid Masters, for which he had already announced his participation via Twitter.
"It was an unpleasant situation for the city, and for the organizers," Nadal said. "The health situation makes it very difficult for events of this caliber to be held with players from all over the world and many who would have come from New York.
The situation in the last days in Spain could be not completely controlled and with outbreaks of infection, and therefore you have to have a little patience to see how things are going," Rafael Nadal continued. "A tournament of this caliber is not organized overnight.
Financially, I understand that a tournament of these conditions, without an audience and with all the protocols to be prepared, would have been a disaster for the promoters. I don't know if I will play Rome or not," Nadal said.
"I await news of the new adapted calendar after the cancellation of Madrid and from there I will have to make decisions."