For a tennis player, finding the match pace is absolutely essential after a very long break like this. Rafael Nadal is no exception. The Spanish phenomenon often struggles at the start of tournaments, only to dramatically raise his performance when entering crucial stages.
Despite the recent resumption of the women's circuit with the Palermo tournament, ATP tournaments in the United States are still in strong doubt due to the quarantine problem. If this were not enough, the news of the cancellation of the Mutua Madrid Open has arrived due to the sudden increase in infections in some areas of Spain.
The Masters 1000 in the Spanish capital should have sanctioned the return of Rafa, who will not defend the title he won last year in New York. In a column on El Pais, Uncle Toni analyzed Nadal's prospects at this end of 2020.
Uncle Toni on the decisions of Nadal and Djokovic
“As its director, Feliciano López, explained, 'The instability is still too high.' And carrying it out would have been, with all certainty, unwise,” Toni Nadal said.
"The decision of the tennis players to attend, or not, should be taken, I believe, from the indisputable personal opinion. The participation of Novak Djokovic, Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas or Daniil Medvedev seems to me as understandable as the resignation of Rafael, Roger Federer or Stan Wawrinka.
The apprehension of having to take several planes and get away from home when things are still so uncertain must be understood," Toni Nadal said. "I just hope that, in the case of my nephew, the inactivity of so many months does not affect his results at Roland Garros" - he added.
Should he triumph at the French Open, Nadal would equal the record of 20 Grand Slam titles of eternal rival Roger Federer (in the pits until the beginning of 2021 following the double operation on the right knee). It was reported last week, that the USTA had decided that a player will be disqualified from the US Open if a player’s team member was found COVID-19 positive.
The players had strongly opposed these rules. They had communicated the same to the ATP and USTA in an online meeting held between them. If a player’s roommate tests positive for coronavirus, there will be a mandatory quarantine period of 14 days.
The player will also be taken out of the draw. The updated guidelines also state that a player who tests positive upon arrival for the event can still compete, provided they complete the necessary isolation and receive medical clearance.