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Rafael Nadal: I have talked many hours with Djokovic to see how we can help tennis

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Rafael nadal & novak djokovic

Spanish tennis legend Rafael Nadal says he would be happy to play tennis in empty stadiums if it meant that the ATP Tour could resume earlier and that he has spoken with Serbian Novak Djokovic for many hours on how they can help the sport.

 

 

Nadal is ranked No. 2 in the world while Djokovic is ranked No. 1 – and both are on the ATP Players Council as well. Speaking to radio station Cadena Cope in a Red Cross fund-raising broadcast, Nadal said, “I am not worrying about tennis now.

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic smile

I do physical work to not deteriorate my body. Tennis is not like football, our sport involves more travelling. Until there is [a] cure, the situation will be really complicated. We need to be responsible. I cannot see an official tournament at short or medium-term.

Health comes first. But if it would be possible to play behind closed doors, I would be very happy. I have talked many hours with Novak to see how we can help our sport.” Speaking about his own experience in quarantine, Nadal says, “I am dealing with quarantine better than three weeks ago, the human being has the capacity to adapt.

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic smile

In the beginning, the terrible news made me sad and took away my desire to wake up, all day watching TV and there was nothing positive. As days went by, I came back to my routines, with double sessions every day to keep fit.

I came back from [the cancelled ATP Tour event at] Indian Wells on a Wednesday and that Saturday the state of alarm was official. It was a shock. Knowing what was happening in Italy, I knew it was coming to Spain. In Indian Wells I was sleeping [at the home of] the tournament owner, who is a very connected person, and at his house I was prevented from hugging anyone and was keeping distance.”

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic smile

As of now, all professional tennis tournaments have been put on hold till July 12th. The ATP has said that it would take a further call on the tournaments after that by June 1st.

In Rafael Nadal’s words: ‘I’m confident in my abilities, I belong at the top’
Rafael Nadal walking

At the beginning of 2003, the 16-year-old Rafael Nadal was ranked just outside the top-200, changing that soon after advancing into four Challenger finals by the end of March, winning one title. Ready to show his skills on the higher level too, Rafa reached the third round in Monte Carlo, Hamburg and Wimbledon, backed by more good results on clay in July and the first ATP semi-final in Umag.

The youngster had to slow down a little bit by the end of the year, returning stronger in 2004 when he played for the first ATP title in Auckland and reached the third round of the Australian Open, losing to Lleyton Hewitt after giving his best in sets one and two.

Rafael Nadal

Following the first Davis Cup triumph for Spain and a couple of more wins, Nadal cracked the top-40 and gained momentum ahead of Miami where he ousted world no. 1 Roger Federer in grand style, scoring a 6-3, 6-3 win in just 70 minutes for the place in the last 16.

It was a brilliant example of Nadal’s progress in a previous couple of years, improving his serve and developing an aggressive approach that he combined with out of this world defense that was already good enough to challenge any player on the Tour.

Rafael Nadal

Pleased with the way he performed, Rafa said he feels he belongs there at the top, raising his level and improving all the elements to become one of the best players in the world in the upcoming years. “I have more confidence in comparison to the previous season, knowing that I can play at this level and that I belong in the top-tier of the ATP rankings.

Rafael Nadal

I have raised my game and I believe I belong to the top. Physically, it would be o.k for me to repeat this kind of performance at Majors, already winning matches at Wimbledon, the US Open and the Australian Open.”