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Rafael Nadal doesn't believe professional tennis can return to regular action in the near future following the suspension of competition during the coronavirus pandemic.
The ATP and WTA tours have been put on hold until the end of July, at the earliest, and according to Nadal, a potential resumption of play would be filled with a litany of obstacles.
"I'm very pessimistic that the circuit can resume normal activity," the world No. 2 said Sunday in an online chat, per Reuters.
"In tennis, you need to travel every week, stay in hotels, go to different countries. Even if we play without an audience, to organize any event you need a lot of people involved, which cannot be ignored. At an international level, I see a serious problem."
Nadal also preached patience as the world continues to battle the pandemic.
"I would be OK playing without fans, even though that’s not what we want, but unfortunately, from what I'm seeing, even though things are improving, for our sport I don’t see it prudent to be competing again anytime soon," the 19-time Grand Slam winner said, according to TSN.
"We have already said many times we are in a very difficult moment, for everyone," he added.
Nadal also spoke to the issue of potential injuries, as government-mandated lockdowns have prevented many players from training with others.
"It will be a very tough job to regain fitness and you will need lots of discipline and lots of suffering," he said. "The sooner we can resume activity the better. From the point of view about going back to competitions, I’m pessimistic."
Spain has been one of Europe's most affected nations amid the spread of COVID-19 with 223,759 confirmed cases and 23,190 related deaths.
Nadal, who hails from Spanish island Mallorca, stressed that competition takes a back seat to the unprecedented global pandemic, saying, "There are many other things more important than tennis."