Coronavirus: Nadal not hopeful of return to action before 2021

Spain's Rafael Nadal prepares to hit a backhand to Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov in the semifinals of the Mexican Open tennis tournament in Acapulco, Mexico, on Feb. 28, 2020. (AP)

Rafael Nadal does not expect to return to play competitive tennis until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has decimated much of this year’s calendar.

“I hope we can return before the end of the year but unfortunately, I don’t think so,” the world number two told Spanish newspaper El Pais on Tuesday.

The pandemic has led to the cancellation of Wimbledon and the postponement of the French Open to September, while the status of the US Open, scheduled to take place as usual in late August, is still unclear.

Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.

Nadal, however, said he had practically written off the remainder of the year and was looking to the Australian Open in January 2021 as the next tournament he will play.

“I would sign up to being ready for 2021,” the Spaniard added.

“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.”

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:06 - GMT 07:06
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