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Rafael Nadal: Tennis in 2020 is 'lost,' prefers focus on 2021

Yardbarker logo Yardbarker 5/5/2020 Blake Harper, Yardbarker
Rafael Nadal holding a racket on a court: Rafael Nadal of Spain believes it's time to close the books on any potential of tennis being played this year. © Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports Rafael Nadal of Spain believes it's time to close the books on any potential of tennis being played this year.

As professional sports are scrambling to figure out a way to salvage their seasons, Rafael Nadal, one of the biggest names in tennis, says he thinks 2020 is "lost" and would prefer to start focusing on 2021 instead.

"I would sign up right now just to being ready for 2021," Nadal told El Pais and other Spanish newspapers. "I'm more concerned with the Australian Open than with what happens later this year. I think 2020 has been practically lost. I'm hopeful of being able to start next year."

Nadal is currently ranked second in the world and has won 19 Grand Slam titles over the course of his career. He hopes that tennis can be played this year but he admitted that he is not optimistic about the chances of that happening.

According to Nadal, the biggest issue that tennis would face is moving players from country to country for tournaments. This would obviously put players at risk and, at this time, there is no clear way to ensure their safety. He also noted that players returning to play without proper training would be at risk for injury.

At age 33, Nadal says that the idea of losing a year of his career is painful since he does not know how many good playing years he has left. Nadal is currently one behind Roger Federer for the most Grand Slam wins of all time and only two ahead of Serbian superstar Novak Djokovic. This three-way battle has been placed on pause due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

"Sadly, I'm not going to lie to you, the feeling is that we are losing a year of our lives,'' Nadal said. "And at 33, 34 years old, that is more valuable than at 20, when you have more time ahead of you.''

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