The number 2 of the world rankings Daniil Medvedev had to give up the Masters 1000 in Monte Carlo due to his positivity to the Coronavirus, before even taking the field to play his initial match. His place on the draw was taken by Argentinian Juan Ignacio Londero, who was rescued after losing in the final round of qualifying.
Medvedev, who boasts a certainly not positive balance of 10 wins and 18 defeats on clay, reached the semi-final in the Principality of Monaco in 2019, when he defeated Joao Sousa, Radu Albot, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Novak Djokovic before losing to Dusan Lajovic in two sets.
As soon as the news of Medvedev's positivity to the virus was communicated, the concern also concerned the Spaniard Rafael Nadal, who had trained with the Moscow player a few hours earlier. However, Rafa took the field for his second round match, where he annihilated Federico Delbonis with a score of 6-1 6-2.
Interviewed after the victory at the press conference, Nadal reassured: “I was not worried. Yes, I trained with him, but I never got close to him. Honestly, I wasn't anxious. I felt sorry for him more than for me, since anything - of course - can happen.
As far as I know of how it can get infected, it wasn't my case with Daniil. I have never come into contact with him and I have never approached him less than four meters: I did it only at the end, to thank him." Rafael Nadal claimed during his press conference on Wednesday that the COVID-19 vaccine was the world's only option to restore some semblance of normalcy.
Rafael Nadal on the absence of fans in Montecarlo
Rafael Nadal also touched upon the absence of fans at the 2021 edition of the Monte Carlo Masters. The Spaniard asserted that the energy in the stadium was 'different' this year, and highlighted how the presence of spectators helps him maintain his intensity in challenging matches.
"It's really difficult to keep the same intensity without the public," Nadal said. "The audience helps you keep staying full. In fact, you constantly want to show him that you are in good shape. The energy is different, especially in situations like today where I had the game more or less under control.
Tomorrow I will have a very difficult opponent, I will have to be 100% all the time. Personally, I miss the audience," the Spaniard said. "I don't want to lie to you about that. I like playing in front of a good crowd much better than without."