Nadal to play at Madrid Open

Madrid, Jul 7 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 7/7/2020 9:49:27 AM IST

Rafael Nadal has confirmed he will play the Madrid Open, which begins the day after the men’s final at the U.S. Open.

The announcement casts further doubt on whether Nadal, 34, will defend his title in New York amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The U.S. Open is slated to run August 31-September 11, while the Madrid Open, which Nadal has won five times, is set for September 12-20.
The French Open, which Nadal has won 12 times, will run from September 27 to October 11.
Nadal has yet to announce his plans for the U.S. Open but previously expressed concern about coming to New York from Europe amid the pandemic. 
“Well, it is not an ideal situation, honestly no,” he said last month. “If you ask me today if I want to travel today to New York to play a tennis tournament, I will say no, I will not.”
“In a couple of months, I don’t know how the situation is going to improve. Hopefully, it’s going to improve the right way, and I’m sure the people who organize the event, the U.S.T.A., want a safe event, same as the French federation.”
Losing Nadal would be a major blow for the U.S. Open, which will carry on without fans or media.
Roger Federer is done for the season with knee surgery and is focusing on 2021, including the Olympics. Novak Djokovic recently tested positive, then negative, for COVID-19 and has also not announced his plans for the year’s remaining two majors.
The three men are locked in a historical battle for all-time supremacy. Federer has 20 career majors, Nadal 19 and Djokovic 17. Serena Williams, winner of 23 Grand Slam titles, will shoot for No. 24 at the U.S. Open, which would tie Margaret Court for No. 1 all-time.


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