For the third time in his extraordinary career, Rafael Nadal was forced to suffer a comeback from two sets to zero. Stefanos Tsitsipas has in fact ousted him from the quarter-finals of the Australian Open, becoming the third to succeed in such a feat after Roger Federer (in Miami in 2005) and Fabio Fognini (at the US Open 2015). The Spanish phenomenon must therefore postpone overtaking the Swiss in the all-time Grand Slam ranking. At a press conference after the defeat in Melbourne Park, the Majorcan was asked for an opinion on the recent statements by Novak Djokovic. The world number 1 had in fact admitted that it would be difficult for players to have to undergo quarantine to play every single tournament on the calendar. The Serbian was of course referring to the possibility that the strict measures imposed in Melbourne will also be copied in other parts of the world. Before taking the field in the Happy Slam, the tennis players had to carry out a two-week quarantine in the official hotels without being able to leave the rooms (except for training) or receive visitors.
Rafael Nadal on Novak Djokovic’s view
When asked for his opinion on Novak Djokovic’s view, Rafael Nadal said: “Honestly, this was the first event that we had to do this quarantine. We didn’t have events before that with this quarantine. I mean, we had maybe it was New York but was not the same at all. I mean, the situation that we are facing is tough, and the world is facing a very tough situation. That’s very clear. And he’s completely right that, for our sport, things are difficult because governments are changing the rules constantly. So it’s difficult to make predictions about how the things gonna happen. But there is a very clear thing, you know. There is two options. Two options is stop the tour or keep going. My personal feeling is it’s tough for the players, of course, have to do bubbles in every single event, flying just plus two, a lot of players have family and they cannot have the family with them, so that makes our tour probably tougher than ever, no? But in the other hand, if we stop the tour, why and how and when we will be able to come back, and a lot of jobs gonna suffer a lot. I mean, not only players. A lot of people are living for our sport, no? If we stop our sport again, a lot of people are going to suffer, no? So we need to have a little bit more – I mean, we need to think a little bit bigger, no? And of course we need to protect players. Probably we need to find a way to protect the players with the ranking, to not force them to keep playing, yes, 100%, because the situation is very tough for a lot of players depending on the countries.”
Rafael Nadal suffered a shock defeat to Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Australian Open