The listless tedium of fan-free tennis may be the only logical way to kick-start the virus-halted sport, according to Toni Nadal.

The uncle and former coach of Rafael Nadal told Switzerland’s Blick that restarting the game after a lockdown which began in early March and will not end until at least August 1 is the only way forward.

While Roger Federer, nephew Rafael and No. 1 Novak Djokovic are all unenthusiastic about playing in empty stadiums, the elder Nadal believes the process is a necessary first step.

“I understand Roger,”  Nadal, director of his nephew’s Mallorca tennis academy, said; he remains hopeful that small crowds of 3,000 to 4,000 fans can be eventually let in as spectators once the sport settles into the new, restricted and socially distanced rhythm.

“It’s not fun to play without fans, But it’s also about money, about revitalising the economy and that’s why I think it would be a good thing to do it in September.”

Nadal added: ‘Who knows, maybe in three months they won’t be able to let everyone in, or maybe 3,000 or 4,000 people. 

“Most players are burning to tennis again. Rafael has not played since Acapulco in February. The break has been is extremely long,” 

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