Nadal ready to perform for 'suffering' fans around the world | Inquirer Sports
Close  

Nadal ready to perform for ‘suffering’ fans around the world

/ 05:20 PM January 31, 2021
Rafael Nadal

FILE – Spain’s Rafael Nadal celebrates after winning his group stage match against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Toby Melville

Rafael Nadal pronounced himself fit and ready Sunday to produce some magic to entertain “suffering” tennis fans around the world as they cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

The Spanish great, who can move past the injured Roger Federer’s 20 Grand Slam titles with victory at the Australian Open beginning February 8, kicks off his season representing Spain at the ATP Cup from Tuesday.

ADVERTISEMENT

He will take to the courts of Melbourne Park after completing 14 days of quarantine in Adelaide, where he was allowed to train for up to five hours a day before an exhibition on Friday against US Open champion Dominic Thiem.

“For me personally, preparation has been positive,” said Nadal.

FEATURED STORIES

“I have been able to practice around two hours per day in Adelaide. Some days a little bit more, two hours 15, two hours 20. That’s it.

“I did, I think, the things that I had to do to be ready. Now is the moment to start playing and practicing with other colleagues and let’s see what’s going on.”

Most players are now out of quarantine and the world number two is keen to get the focus back on tennis, although his thoughts are with those in lockdowns around the world.

“When we arrived here, we have this quarantine. But I think that’s over. Is the moment to start talking about tennis,” he said.

“That’s why we came here: to play tennis, to try to give to the fans around the world and to the fans here in Australia.

“For some of the people who are suffering a lot at home, we try to have good entertainment for them. The only way to make that happen is to go on court, try our best.”

He leads Spain in the ATP Cup, desperate to make amends after being beaten in the final at Sydney last year by Novak Djokovic’s Serbia.

ADVERTISEMENT

Strange situation

Nadal, who doesn’t usually play the week before a Grand Slam, said it was a different experience this year, with the tournament cut to 12 teams from 24 and all games in Melbourne immediately before the Australian Open.

“It’s a very unusual situation for most of us. Most of you that are around tennis know I never play the week before a Grand Slam,” he said.

“So is a little bit new and is a strange situation. But here I am, the same like the rest of the team, to try our best in every moment.

“Because we are a team, and a good team, with great players, we have different options. Everybody’s ready to play, and to play with very competitive level.”

Spain starts their campaign against home nation Australia, who are without Nick Kyrgios but led by the in-form Alex De Minaur, who won the season-opening Antalya Open this month.

The two teams met in the ATP Cup last year with De Minaur pushing Nadal hard in an engrossing three-setter.

“It was an emotional match, not great for me, but emotional one,” Nadal said of that clash.

“He’s young, he’s improving every year. I think it’s going to be a tough battle for all of us playing against a great team like Australia.”

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: ATP Cup, Australian Open, coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic, Rafael Nadal, Sports, Tennis
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2021 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.