Tennis great Rafael Nadal said he doubts tennis can be played in 2020 and said the focus should turn to next year.
In an interview with the El Pais newspaper in his native Spain, Nadal said he doesn’t think he’ll have a chance to defend his titles at the French Open and U.S. Open this year.
“I hope we can return before the end of the year but unfortunately, I don’t think so,” said Nadal, who turns 34 next month.
“I would sign up to being ready for 2021. I’m more worried about the Australian Open than what occurs at the end of this year. I think 2020 is practically lost. I hope we can start up again next year, I really hope that’s the case.”
The ATP and WTA tours have been on pause since March because of the coronavirus pandemic. ATP play is scheduled to return July 13 at the Hamburg European Open.
Wimbledon has been canceled, and the French Open was moved from May to a Sept. 20 start date. Sports Illustrated reported recently that the tournament at Roland Garros likely will be rescheduled again to October.
Twelve of Nadal’s 19 Grand Slam championships have come in Paris.
“My feeling and I say it sadly, I won’t lie to you, is that we’re losing a year of our lives. And at 33, 34 years old that is more valuable than at 20 when you have a lot more ahead,” he said.
—Field Level Media