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Nadal: 2020 Season "Practically Lost"

Rafael Nadal is hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.

The world No. 2 said it's unlikely the pro circuit will resume normally in 2020 because of the coronavirus crisis.

Kyrgios to Nadal: Let's Go Live

In an interview with El Pais, Nadal said the 2020 season is "practically lost." 

The reigning Roland Garros and US Open champion hopes tennis can resume normally in time for the 2021 Australian Open.

"Hopefully [the season resumes], but I don't think so, unfortunately," Nadal told El Pais. "I sign [up] to be ready for 2021—hopefully.

"I'm more concerned with the Australian Open than what happens later this year. 2020 I see it practically lost. I hope to be able to start next year. I hope it so."

Wimbledon cancelled for the first time in 75 years.

Roland Garros unilaterally moved from May to a September 20th start—a week after the US Open ends.

The 19-time Grand Slam champion said even if tournaments tried playing without fans to enforce social distancing, he’s “very pessimistic” tennis can resume as travel remains a major issue.

"The world is experiencing a pandemic so we cannot travel... In tennis, you need to travel every week, stay in hotels, go to different countries,” Nadal said.

"Even if it 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."

The 33-year-old Spaniard reports he's been training twice a day—once in the morning and once in the afternoon—and has stopped watching the news.

Nadal said health and safety must take top priority to try to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

"The highest priority is saving lives and health, and sport, for me, takes a third plane; nor do I have it in my head, as long as things are done in an orderly manner," Nadal told El Pais. "I understand that everyone is confined, but in the end this is our job.

"It makes little sense that there are people gathered in one place, complying with all the measures, and that we cannot do it even though we can comply with them more strictly. Sport has been treated unanimously, all sports equally, and I believe that this should not be the case, and not all communities are treated equally. "

Photo credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve