Sport Game, set and match for 2020: Rafael Nadal expects no tennis before 2021

Game, set and match for 2020: Rafael Nadal expects no tennis before 2021

Spanish ace Rafael Nadal is already eyeing next year's Australian Open. Photo: AAP
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Rafael Nadal sees the Australian Open as his next big target, the world No.2 not expecting to play competitive tennis again this year because of the coronavirus.

Speaking to Spanish newspaper El Pais on Tuesday, the 19-time grand slam champion thought the rest of the year would be a write-off.

“I wish, but I don’t believe so. If you said we’ll be ready for 2021 I would sign up for that,” Nadal said.

“I am more worried about the Australian Open than what will happen at the end of this year.

“I think 2020 is practically lost. I have hopes that we will be able to start next year. Hopefully that’s what will happen.”

With Wimbledon cancelled, the French Open has been moved from its traditional start date in May to the end of September while the US Open is still scheduled to start at the end of August.

But 33-year-old Nadal is not optimistic either will go ahead and appears to be planning for next year’s Australian Open, which is due to start on January 18.

Nadal also said it was important to find a balance between being positive and not avoiding criticism of politicians.

“No one expected this, but those that govern here should have had access to all the information and in that sense there were errors,” he said.

“The situation has overwhelmed all of us, not just Spain.

“But it’s the same as when I lose a match and (Roger) Federer and (Novak) Djokovic also lose a match.

“I can’t excuse myself just because they lost too. Everyone has dealt with this badly.”