The Spanish tennis player Rafa Nadal expressed his “maximum solidarity” with the players who are having a difficult confinement to be able to play in the Australian Open, but he also asked them “to ignore an excessive complaint for spending 14 days in a room” for what is being experienced worldwide with the coronavirus pandemic.
“The first thing, maximum solidarity with the colleagues who are living it (the confinement in Australia) in a more unpleasant way, because being in a room for 14 days is not pleasant and I hope they have as little trouble as possible and that when they leave they will have all the possible advantages for its preparation, ”Nadal said in an interview with the network ESPN in Argentina. However, the Spaniard recalled that he is living “a very tough situation worldwide” and that “Being confined for 14 days is unpleasant but compared to what happens in the world it is a resignation.”
“Those of us who live in countries hit by this, we live sad stories every day and when things like this happen every day, I think that the excessive complaint of being in a room for 14 days should be avoided,” he warned. The number two in the world stressed that, despite the pandemic, tennis players may be “lucky enough to compete” and that they are “in five-star hotels and with food”, and surrounded by people who take care of them and “try to do what best possible”.
“I applaud all those who have a positive and understanding attitude”, assured. Nadal sees “understandable” and “totally respectable” that there is criticism that the most important players have better conditions, although he clarified that he has “a slightly different vision from other players.”
“Here in Adelaide we have better conditions than most in Melbourne, but there are players there who have bigger rooms than others who cannot have contact with their coach,” said the winner of 20 ‘greats’, who in Adelaide has “Four and a half hours to get out of the room.” For the manacorí, “it is a matter of ethics”, although he also stressed that he had not “heard” any player who is in Melbourne complaining about having “a better room” than others there or about those who are confined “without being able to train ”For traveling to Australia with a positive case on his flight.
“You always look up. We all try to get the best possible performance within our means and in the end we have to help each other. Some need to make all these things public to help, and others do it in a more private way ”, The Spaniard added, in what could be a message to Serbian Novak Djokovic and his criticized letter to the Australian Open to relax the measures somewhat.
On the other hand, facing the new season, he made it clear that he is not obsessed with being number one and that it has nothing to do with signing up for the Rotterdam tournament before the possibility of being one in March if the results are given. “I signed up for Rotterdam because Indian Wells was canceled, not because of anything else,” he admitted. Nor is he obsessed with beating Swiss Roger Federer in number of Grand Slams after equaling him with 20 last year. “If I had to choose (as an objective) I would say yes, but keep an eye on it continuously, no. Of course I would love it and within my objectives it can be one, but my way of facing the ‘grades’ is always the same and not because of being one of momentarily the one with the most changes my motivation or adds pressure. I always compete with the maximum enthusiasm and the maximum motivation ”, he settled. For this reason, Nadal has “always the same objectives.”
“The first and foremost, to be healthy, and the second, to be happy,” he commented. “I want to have the opportunity in all tournaments to be competitive and give myself options to fight to get a good result,” he stressed. Finally, the 13-time Roland Garros winner acknowledged that one “always has to evolve to try to stay at the highest level.”
“My game has been in a continuous evolution and that has allowed me to be in a privileged position at 34 years old and to continue competing for the things that I have competed for so many years. Everything is the result of determination and enthusiasm and of having people by my side who have helped decisively in many difficult moments that I have had in the form of injuries ”, he sentenced.
Nadal, Djokovic, Thiem and Medvedev will play in the ATP Cup premiere
The ATP Cup, a country competition that takes place from February 2 to 6 in Australia, has carried out the calendar draw this Monday and has caused the four best of the moment in the world ranking, including Rafa Nadal, to debut in the first competition day. Spain is among the countries that will play their first tie in this second edition of the ATP Cup on the first day of competition. Led by Nadal, Spain will face host Australia in a match with two singles and one doubles.
In addition to Nadal, world number two, Serbian Novak Djokovic, Austrian Dominic Thiem and Russian Daniil Medvedev, who complete the ‘Top 4’ of the moment, will defend their respective countries on the first day. Reigning champions of the tournament, Serbia will open their bid for a second consecutive title against Canada at the Rod Laver Arena and Austria will face Italy at the John Cain Arena.
In the evening, 2020 finalist Spain will face host Australia at the Rod Laver Arena. Rafael Nadal and Alex de Miñaur will meet again in singles after last year’s semifinals, when Spain won 3-0. Russia, who reached the semifinals at the inaugural ATP Cup, will begin their title fight against Argentina. The two countries met in the round of 16 last year, with Russia claiming a 3-0 victory. On the other hand, Germany, Greece, France and Japan will play their first qualifiers of the tournament on the second day.
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With information from Europa Press.