October 28, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

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Rafael Nadal said the 2020 tennis season was “practically gone” because of the coronavirus pandemic

Andy Murray of Great Britain plays a forehand shot during his Davis Cup Group Stage match against Tallon Griekspoor of the Netherlands during Day Three of the 2019 Davis Cup at La Caja Magica on November 20, 2019 in Madrid, Spain.
The ATP and WTA tours have been suspended until at least mid-July, with Wimbledon has been canceled and French Open, where Nadal has won a record 12 titles, postponed until the end of September.

However, the 19-time grand slam champion is hesitant to return to court anytime this year.

“I hope we can return this year, but I think we will not return,” he told Spanish newspaper El Pais on Tuesday. “Unfortunately, I will register to be ready for 2021 – hopefully.

“I am more concerned with the Australian Open (in January) than about what happened at the end of this year. I see that 2020 is practically gone. I hope to start next year, that’s what I want.”

Nadal dedicated some of his free time to helping those in need and has worked with Spanish NBA star Pau Gasol and joined ‘Red Cross Responds,’ a project that aims to distribute food and care packages and provide support to more than 1.3 million people who are vulnerable across the country.

Spain has become one of the European countries most affected by the pandemic, recording more than 219,000 cases and 25,613 deaths.

“We are trying to bring together as many people as possible to create something beautiful,” Nadal said. “I am very grateful for everyone’s collaborative efforts: athletes, artists, companies, federations, citizens.

“I am a sentimental person, who is influenced by many things and sees so many people suffering so much, so many people who have lost family members without being able to say goodbye.

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“In the end, being able to hug your brother or sister reduces your pain and imagines that they can’t even do that. You have to be positive and keep moving forward. There is no other choice.”

Tennis back … sort of

While the ATP and WTA tours may have been suspended, tennis returned for the first time during the coronavirus pandemic with the Tennis Point Exhibition Series in Germany.

143 No. World Yannick Hanfmann defeated Dustin Brown, the name of the tournament star, in straight sets to claim the title in very unusual circumstances.

The exhibition was held without fans and there were only three people on the field at a time – two players and referees. The players enter and exit through different doors and sit facing each other so they never cross into the net.

The match is the best of three sets and the set is shortened to the first four matches, with a tiebreak in three-all and the next point wins when the match reaches deuce.

This tournament was organized to help low-ranking players earn income during the pandemic.

Novak Djokovic, president of the ATP Players Council, has called on top players to contribute to the funds set up by the game’s governing bodies to help those who are lower, but number 3 in the world. Dominic Thiem was recently rejected idea.