Rafael Nadal

  • Rafael Nadal has shared concerns over international travel due to the pandemic.
  • While his favorite tournament, the French Open, would normally be in its second week right now, Nadal worries about rescheduling any tournament too soon.

PARIS – As the world of sports slowly returns to a semblance of normality, the tennis world is dealing with what should be a time of celebration and intense competition. The French Open at Rolland Garros was initially scheduled to be in its’ second week by now, but has been moved to Sept. 20 due to concerns over the coronavirus.

This means that players will be under unfamiliar weather conditions if the tournament takes place in the fall.

One of those players is the French Open King himself, Rafael Nadal.

Nadal was set to compete for his 20th Grand Slam title this week, and to do so at his favorite court in the world.

Nadal’s skill and mastery of the clay at Rolland Garros is legend by now, with the Spaniard proving to be almost unbeatable at the tournament.

Nadal has won 12 of the last 15 French Opens, including a dominant win last year.

Nadal still is an overwhelming favorite at legal sportsbooks to win the rescheduled tournament, if it does indeed take place.

Men’s French Open 2020 – Winner

  • Rafael Nadal -120
  • Novak Djokovic +300
  • Domini Thiem +350
  • Stefanos Tsitsipas +1400
  • Alexander Zverev +2000

For now though, Nadal is at home, practicing lightly while he waits to return to his sport.

The next scheduled tournament would be the U.S. Open, which still holds onto its original start date of Aug 31.

As far as Nadal, he currently isn’t convinced he would make the trip to New York.

“If you (ask) me today, today I will say, ‘No,’” said Nadal. “In a couple of months? I don’t know. Hopefully, ‘Yes,’ But we need to wait probably until we have more clear information about how the virus evolves and how the situation is going to be in New York in a couple of months. Because, of course, New York has been one of the places that have been very strongly hit by the virus. So let’s see.”

If the tournament were to be held in August, Nadal might not be the only high-profile competitor who doesn’t make the trip.

Current favorite Novak Djokovic expressed concern back in April about a mandatory vaccine and was met with heavy criticism.

Nevertheless, Djokovic remains the favorite for the New York classic.

US Open Odds – Winner

  • Novak Djokovic +150
  • Rafael Nadal +350
  • Roger Federer +600
  • Daniil Medvedev +900
  • Dominic Thiem +1200
  • Andy Murray +1400

However, in a solo sport like tennis, the risk of infection can be more contained.

Possible solutions if the virus still remains an issue is to completely isolate the athletes before and after the match, including sanitized towels, rackets, water bottles, and anything else they would need.

The lack of fans in these matches is, unfortunately, almost a guarantee at this point.

For someone like Nadal, who feeds off the crowd heavily, this could affect his play. Only time will tell if Nadal is able to win another French Open title without the cheers of “Vamos Rafa!” raining down upon him.

For now, the concern is if he will be present at all.

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