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From a "bad time" to Slam No. 20: Nadal undecided about rest of season
"I am not sure if I am going to keep going on the normal calendar or if I stop playing until next year," the newly minted 20-time Grand Slam champion said.
Published Oct 14, 2020
World No. 2 Rafael Nadal is unsure whether he will play again for the rest of this season now he's won another record-extending Roland Garros title.
Having defeated Novak Djokovic in straight sets to win Grand Slam No. 20, he is yet to make a decision on whether he will contest the Paris Masters or the ATP Finals in London—he has never won either event previously.
"I can’t tell you if I’m going to keep playing or not keep playing for the next couple of months. I didn’t decide, so I am not sure if I am going to keep going on the normal calendar or if I stop playing until next year," he said.
His schedule also will be affected by the two-week quarantine required to compete at the Australian Open. While the players will be allowed to train and perhaps even compete during this span, those who want to play warmup events could have to arrive in Australia just three weeks following the ATP Finals.
Nadal, who chose to concentrate on clay and also did not play the US Open, was candid about the challenges he went through ahead of his return to the tour in a translated interview with the ATP website.
"On a personal level, it’s a reality that after the lockdown I went through a bad time, my body did not respond in the best way possible," Nadal said. "I had a lot of days where I could only train very little, with unpleasant feelings in my body."
The lefthander also touched on his experience competing in a bubble, believing team members Carlos Moya and Rafael Maymo were better equipped to adjust to the circumstances.
"I’m a person who prefers being with people more. Carlos has always had the ability to get by on his own, as has Rafa. For me it’s a little harder," he said.
"The days have seemed longer to me than to them, but we’ve rediscovered things that we had forgotten. It’d been three years since I’d picked up a PlayStation controller, and we played it a lot with each other. We’ve also been reading all the latest news and watching the odd series to kill time."
Due to the modified ranking structure in place, which enables players to count their best 2019 or 2020 result in Paris, Nadal did not gain any points. The 34-year-old is currently 1,890 points behind Djokovic, who picked up 480 points. Dominic Thiem is ranked No. 3, standing 725 points behind Nadal.