Tennis world number 2 Rafael Nadal is doubtful that tennis will return to normal even with the easing of COVID-19 lockdown regulations as travel restrictions may still cause a hindrance to players.
Rafael Nadal was meant to be defending is French Open Title in May, however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the numerous restrictions put in place by various countries to curb the spread of the virus, the tournament has now been postponed to September.
Wimbledon is another major tournament that saw itself being cancelled for the first time since World War II as all major tennis competitions were suspended in March.
“From my point of view, I’m very pessimistic that the circuit can resume normal activity”, the world number 2 said in an interview with the Spanis Sports Federation
“In tennis, you need to travel every week, stay in hotels, go to different countries.
“Even if we play without an audience, to organise any event you need a lot of people involved, which cannot be ignored. At an international level I see a serious problem.”
“We have already said many times we are in a very difficult moment, for everyone,” Nadal, 33, said.
“Step by step it looks like things are slightly less bad, but we’ve been through one-and-a-half very tough months, lots of irreparable losses and other losses that are less important, but without doubt will cause suffering in society in the following months.”
“I hope it will be months not years because it’s also an economic issue as well. Lots of people are going to lose their jobs. These are sad moments when you see so many people dying.”
Even though the sport itself may be allowed to resume once coronavirus restrictions are lifter, it will also take time for tennis players to return to fitness as most have been stuck at home under lockdown without access to the necessary training facilities.
Even with access to home training facilities, the athletes will also need time to recover from the emotional and mental toll of the COVID-19 pandemic, whose effects will still be felt long after the virus is brought under control.
“It will be a very tough job to regain fitness and you will need lots of discipline and lots of suffering,” he said. “The sooner we can resume activity the better. From the point of view about going back to competitions, I’m pessimistic.
“But there are many other things more important than tennis.”