Nadal Still Preparing To Play Roland Garros Despite US Open Withdrawal

Spain’s Rafael Nadal walks off the court after losing against Austria’s Dominic Thiem during their men’s singles quarter-final match on day ten of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 29, 2020. William WEST / AFP

 

Rafael Nadal on Wednesday said he still intends to play at the French Open next month and remains hopeful it will go ahead, despite withdrawing from the US Open due to coronavirus concerns.

Nadal also insisted the US Open will not carry an asterisk without its defending men’s champion, even if he admitted it will take place under “special circumstances”, with several top players expected to sit out.

The 34-year-old Spaniard’s withdrawal was confirmed shortly after the Madrid Open was cancelled on Tuesday, with a rise in coronavirus cases in Europe raising doubts around other events, including the French Open, which is due to start in Paris on September 27.

Nadal, who would be going for a record-extending 13th title at Roland Garros, was asked if he thinks the tournament will go ahead.

“I trust it will yes, it is in my mind and I am preparing for it,” said the 34-year-old in a briefing with international media on Wednesday.

“But we have to wait for events, to see how everything evolves because it is true that in recent weeks the situation seems to have worsened a little. But my hope and my intention would be to be there if conditions allow.”

Nadal also explained his decision to pull out of the US Open. “My heart says today is not the moment to take long travels without knowing exactly what can and cannot happen.

“My decision is to stay at home in Mallorca where the situation is good, it looks under control here, and to wait for future opportunities.”

– ‘Special circumstances’ -Women’s world number one Ashleigh Barty has also chosen not to compete in New York, where a depleted entry list in both the men’s and women’s draws looks inevitable.

Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray are all still due to play.

“The tournament is still big, it’s a Grand Slam,” Nadal said. “I am not arrogant enough to say the tournament is not big because I am not playing. There will be important players.

“Of course it’s a tournament under special circumstances but still a Grand Slam and the winner will feel like the winner of a Grand Slam. It’s true it will be under special circumstances with a lot of important players not travelling there.”

Nadal added: “My words can have repercussions so it is difficult to say if it is the right decision or not, for some players it will be right for others not.

“I respect a lot the amount of work and positive intentions of the ATP and USTA (United States Tennis Association) to try to come back to the tour. I have taken my decision so you know my thoughts but I respect there are other players in different situations and they need to play because they have financial problems and need to earn money after a few months without income.”

Nadal also said lessons need to be learned after the “mistake” of the ill-fated Adria Tour in June, which was organised by Djokovic and led to several players, including the Serb, testing positive for coronavirus.

“I think most of the players want the best for the world and for people. Of course, there was a mistake in the tour organised in Serbia and Croatia but mistakes are normal when you face a situation you haven’t faced before,” Nadal said.

“The players need to make decisions but I am not saying mine is the right one. Every decision can be right or wrong. We are facing unpredictable situations.

“I really hope people learn from the Adria Tour and we continue in the best way possible.”

Barty Ends Australia’s 46-Year Wait For French Open Title

Australia’s Ashleigh Barty poses with the trophy Suzanne Lenglen after winning against Czech Republic’s Marketa Vondrousova at the end of the women’s singles final match on day fourteen of The Roland Garros 2019 French Open tennis tournament in Paris on June 8, 2019.
Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP

 

Ashleigh Barty ended Australia’s 46-year wait for a French Open singles title on Saturday by thrashing nervous Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova in a one-sided women’s final.

Eighth seed Barty got off to a strong start and never looked back, winning 6-1, 6-3 after only 70 minutes to claim her maiden Grand Slam title.

READ ALSO: Thiem Ends Djokovic History Bid, Faces Nadal In Roland Garros Final

The 23-year-old will rise to second in the world behind only Naomi Osaka when the latest rankings are released next week, after becoming the first Australian winner at Roland Garros since Margaret Court won the last of her five trophies in 1973.

Ashleigh Barty’s path to the Roland Garros title (x denotes seeded player):

Ashleigh Barty (AUS x8)

1st rd: bt Jessica Pegula (USA) 6-3, 6-3

2nd rd: bt Danielle Collins (USA) 7-5, 6-1

3rd rd: bt Andrea Petkovic (GER) 6-3, 6-1

4th rd: bt Sofia Kenin (USA) 6-3, 3-6, 6-0

QF: bt Madison Keys (USA x14) 6-3, 7-5

SF: bt Amanda Anisimova (USA) 6-7 (4/7), 6-3, 6-3

F: bt Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) 6-1, 6-3

Rafael Nadal Wins 10th French Open Title

Rafael Nadal on Sunday, defeated Stan Wawrinka 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 to claim his 10th French Open title.

After the victory, Nadal was quoted to have said: “It’s really unbelievable, to win the 10th is incredible, it’s very special. I’d like to thank all of you today.

“I’m very emotional. I try my best in all the events but the feeling I have here is impossible to describe. For me, the nerves, the adrenaline I feel when I play on this court is impossible to compare. It’s the most important event in my career, so to win here is something I cannot describe.”

Nadal had on Friday crushed Austrian Dominic Thiem 6-3 6-4 6-0 to reach the finals.

The victory over Thiem meant Nadal dropped only 29 games to reach the final — surpassing his previous best of 35 in 2012 and only two more than Bjorn Borg’s record set in 1978.