Rafael Nadal finds himself at something of a loose end after his French Open thrashing of Novak Djokovic, with Spain’s 13-time Roland Garros titleholder stumped by where to play next. 

“I even don’t know my calendar. I don’t know what I’m going to do after here. I can’t tell you if I’m going to keep playing or not keep playing for the next couple of months,” he said. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has wrecked almost all of the autumn tournament lineups on both the ATP and WTA. The women’s Tour came off the worst, forced to cancel a handful of important events in China and Asia, including the year-end final in Shenzhen.

It’s not that bad for the ATP, but the Shanghai Masters is gone along with the Swiss Indoors in Basel. And the Finals in London are looking dicey as Britain ramps up a fresh lockdown this week.

In a normal year, Nadal would take time off after the US Open in September and play a couple of weeks in China before heading back to Europe and a likely appearance at the Paris Bercy Masters in November before the ATP Finals.

Now, nothing is certain with Roland Garros finishing in mid-October thanks to the one-off change of date which worked out in the end.

Nadal remains puzzled anyway: “l’m not sure if I am going to keep going on the normal calendar or if I stop playing until next year. 

“It’s something I have to decide. It doesn’t make sense to speak of the Finals because I really don’t know if I’m  going to play it or not. 

“I need to speak with my family and team. We are facing a tough (virus) situation, as everybody knows.”

And then there is January’s Australian Open, which is likely to require all players to quarantine for two weeks in Melbourne starting in December.

That is a definite change which will require even more planning.

This is the moment to be smart and make the right decisions,” Nadal said. “I am just doing my best to not make bad decisions.”


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