The ATP Tour has restarted, Rafael Nadal does not. The Spanish champion, as he had already anticipated in some interviews, finally decided not to participate in the American season. No Western & Southern Open, no US Open.
Last year, Nadal had become the protagonist of an incredible journey; a path that led him to conquer the nineteenth Slam of his career in Flushing Meadows. Nadal experienced the months of full health emergency with great apprehension and considered traveling to the United States too risky.
"When you experience a situation like this, sport takes a step back", explained the Majorcan in an interview with GQ. "It doesn't matter if the break will give me advantages or disadvantages, I just haven't thought about tennis at all.
I think there were much more important things to think about. I hope I can be ready and remain competitive in every tournament I take part in when things get back to normal."
The importance of uncle Toni in the life and career of Rafael Nadal
Nadal, together with NBA star Pau Gasol and with the help of the most important figures in world sport, including Novak Djokovic, has raised more than 14 million euros for the Red Cross.
His idea has always been to help the most unfortunate people in this time of crisis: “I talked to my team constantly because I wanted to do something to help people, but I didn't know how to do it. I have always worked personally, but in this case everything was different.
My team told me there was a campaign to support the Red Cross. I called Pau Gasol to talk to him about the project and tell him how nice and necessary it would be for the world of sport to participate in this initiative. Pau immediately told me he wanted to participate.
Then, subsequently, other well-known faces of the sport joined like Julen Lopetegui." Nadal then wanted to praise his uncle Toni's work as a coach. “In sporting terms, my uncle Toni was undoubtedly the most important person in my career.
Without him, I wouldn't be a tennis player. In 2017 it was he who told me that he wanted to rest and focus more on the Academy. We had no problems, far from it. Everything has always been fine with him. I have always said throughout my career that before being his student, I am his nephew."