Nadal's unusual year: from Australia to Paris going through a long confinement

Nadal has played 26 games so far this year, with a 22-4 record, two titles, a final and, most importantly, no injuries. He went more than six months without playing because of the pandemic.


Rafael Nadal was crowned this Sunday as Roland Garros champion for the 13th time in one of the strangest years of his career, totally conditioned, like the life of everyone, by the coronavirus pandemic. To date, the Spaniard has played 26 games, with a balance of 22-4, two titles (Acapulco and Paris), one final (ATP Cup) and, most important of all, no injuries.

The year began with the Balearic Islands in Brisbane, the venue where Spain played the group stage matches of the ATP Cup, the team competition that opened this year. There he beat Basilashvili, Cuevas, Nishioka in the 'round robin', and lost to Goffin in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals he beat De Miñaur and in the final he yielded against Djokovic. Serbia won the tournament. At the Australian Open, Thiem cut him off in the quarterfinals, after the Spaniard had beaten Dellien, Delbonis, Carreño and Kyrgios. From there, after taking a few weeks of active rest, Nadal marched to Acapulco, where he triumphed in the final against Fritz, after having surpassed Andújar, Kecmanovic, Kwon and Dimitrov. There he lifted his first title of the course with a convincing game and without losing a single set.

Just after winning in Mexico, the disease that has the entire world in check, COVID-19, was unleashed definitively. Like everyone, Nadal had to confine himself to home and did not train for a long time. It was not until May 22 when Rafa returned to the slopes, at his Manacor academy, to start preparing without even knowing which tournament they would be able to play. During the isolation, the Mallorcan dedicated his efforts to helping those most in need with the Red Cross Respond program, which he supported together with Pau Gasol under the slogan #NuestraMejorVictoria, with which 11 million euros were raised. The deos presented the initiative in AS, which made a joint historical display with the other three most important sports newspapers in Spain in which more athletes participated.

When it was confirmed that there would be a mini hard court tour in the United States, with the Cincinnati Masters 1,000 moved to New York and the US Open, Nadal announced that he would not attend as a precaution in the face of the serious situation that the United States was experiencing due to the coronavirus. “The health situation remains very complicated around the world with COVID-19 cases and outbreaks that seem out of control. This is a decision that I would not want to make but in this case I follow my heart to decide that for now I prefer not to travel, "said the winner of 20 Grand Slams. His return took place in Rome, almost seven months after having played his last match. . There he started well, with resounding victories against Carreño and Lajovic, before Schwartzman beat him for the first time in his 10 matches. Without physical problems, he went to Paris with a previous visit to Manacor and you already know the story: Gerasimov, McDonald, Travaglia, Korda, Sinner and Schwartzman succumbed to him before Djokovic kneels again before the earth king at 'his home'.

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