World number two Rafael Nadal says tennis players “need to think a little bigger” when it comes to their attitudes about hotel quarantine.
- Rafael Nadal said stopping the tour to avoid quarantine would affect a lot of people, not just players
- The statement comes after world number one Novak Djokovic suggested players would prefer to cancel the season than quarantine
- Nadal called on fellow players to think of others who are doing it tough, and those who use the tour for their employment
The comments come after Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev were both critical this week of the mandatory hotel quarantine requirement for all international players in the lead up to the Australian Open.
Djokovic said on Tuesday that most players would rather cancel the season than have to endure quarantine at most events.
But Nadal said players needed to keep things in perspective.
Speaking to the media following his five-set quarter-final loss to Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas, the 20-time grand slam champion said many people who weren’t players relied on the sport for their livelihoods.
“It’s tough for the players, of course, have to do [quarantine] bubbles in every single event … but on the other hand, if we stop the tour, why and how and when we will be able to come back?” he asked.
“Not only players, a lot of people are living from our sport.
“And if we stop our sport again, a lot of people are going to suffer.
“We need to think a little bit bigger … we need to find solutions and we need to adapt to these very tough times that we are facing.”
The Spaniard did say he agreed with Djokovic that it was difficult for players to have certainty when governments around the world changed requirements and health advice.
However, Nadal said he was not aware of any other tournaments in the coming months which would mandate the same level of quarantine the Victorian government placed on this year’s Australian Open.
“The situation that we are facing is tough, and the world is facing a very tough situation,” he said.
“But honestly, this was the first event that we had to do this quarantine.
“We didn’t have events before that with this quarantine.”
Nadal also refused to use quarantine as an excuse after he blew a two-set lead to Tsitsipas on Wednesday night.
“We can find excuses or reasons, or maybe this quarantine that we need to be more time in the room than usual,” he said.
“But I am not the guy that’s going to find excuses on that or going to complain about what happened, no.”
Tsitsipas will face off with Russia’s Daniil Medvedev on the second semi-final on Friday night.
Djokovic will play in Thursday’s semi-final against another Russian, qualifier Aslan Karatsev.