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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday May 11, 2021

Rafael Nadal is still undecided about the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games. The 20-time major champion, speaking to reporters ahead of his appearance at this week’s Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, says that in a normal year he would never consider missing the Olympics, but due to the pandemic and all the uncertainty it has caused, he still isn’t sure if he’ll go to Tokyo.

Tennis Express

“I don't know yet,” he said when asked if the Olympics were already on his calendar. “Honestly I can't give you a clear answer because I don't know. I don't know my calendar. In a normal world I will never see about missing Olympics, of course. Is no doubt about that. Everybody knows how important have been for me always play Olympics.”

2021 Is Not a Normal Year

Nadal says he would already have his schedule planned from front to back in a normal year, but in 2021 he simply doesn’t know what is going to happen.

“Let's see what's going on in the next couple of months,” he said. “But I need to organize my schedule. My schedule in a normal year, I normally know my schedule almost 100% since 1st of January till the end of the season. This year is something a little bit different, no? We need to be flexible. We need to adapt about the things that are happening.”

Osaka and Nishikori Weigh in on Tokyo

Japanese players have a strong desire to play the games in Tokyo, but even they know it is going to come down to public health and safety. Naomi Osaka, who recently revealed that she has been vaccinated, says that there are still discussions to be had, and that’s a good thing.

“For me I feel like of course I would say I want the Olympics to happen, because I'm an athlete and that's sort of what I have been waiting for my entire life,” she said. “But I think that there is so much important stuff going on, and especially the past year, I think a lot of unexpected things have happened. For me, I feel like if it's putting people at risk and if it's making people very uncomfortable, then it definitely should be a discussion, which I think it is as of right now. Yeah, at the end of the day I'm just an athlete, and there is a whole pandemic going.”

Nishikori agrees with Osaka, and points out the tremendous logistical challenges the Tokyo Olympics will be facing.

“I don't think it's easy, especially what's happening right now in Japan,” he said. “It's not doing good. Well, not even Japan. You have to think all over the world, you know, right now. I know you still have two, three more months. It's tough to really say right now. I think they should really hold right now, and they should decide it like before. If it's now, I think it's really tough, you know.”

The Japanese star is realistic about the situation. He knows that the IOC has a tremendous challenge ahead of it. According to a poll, nearly 60 percent of Japanese citizens want the Olympics cancelled.

Additionally, Japan is experiencing a spike in infections while simultaneously lagging behind with its vaccine rollout.

“If you think only about athletes, I think you can do it. If you can make good bubble, maybe you can do it, but there is some risk too. You know, what's happen if there is hundred cases in the Village or can be thousands. The Corona, it's been spread very easy. So I will say same as Naomi. You have to really discuss, you know, how you can play really safely to happen.”