‘Everything is much colder’ without fans, says Rafael Nadal as he laments ‘tough’ year for mankind
There were double celebrations for Rafael Nadal in Barcelona this weekend as he not only celebrated another title at the ATP 500 event, but also toasted the return of fans.
Since the sport resumed in August last year following a five-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, many tournaments have been played in empty stadiums due to tight health and safety restrictions.
However, with vaccination programmes against Covid-19 now in full swing in some countries, things have started to open up again and spectators are able to attend tennis events.
One such tournament was the Barcelona Open final where Nadal won a record-extending 12th trophy with a three-set win over Stefanos Tsitsipas on Sunday.
When asked by TVE about playing in front of crowds, the 20-time Grand Slam winner replied: “It’s a very positive feeling. The crowd is a basic pillar of any show. Without it, everything is much colder, perhaps less emotional.
“Let’s hope the rhythm of vaccination keeps growing and goes as fast as possible, so that we all can enjoy not just the crowd in sport, but a life more normal and pleasant than what we’ve had in the last year.”
He added: “I don’t remember a year since I’m alive as tough for mankind as this past year.
“So, let’s hope we can go back to what we had and as far as sport is concerned, with crowds in stands.”
Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina begs Wimbledon to maintain ban on Russian and Belarusian players
Elina Svitolina has begged Wimbledon to maintain the ban.
Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open win was a ratings flop for American TV
ESPN have released their viewing figures for the Australian Open final and they suggest just 439,000 viewers watched in America.
Felix Auger-Aliassime backed to win Wimbledon in 2023
Felix Auger-Aliassime has been backed to make his Grand Slam breakthrough in 2023.
Serena Williams opens up on Will Smith’s Oscar slap
Serena Williams says that we are all human and make mistakes in the heat of the moment.
Nick Kyrgios escapes conviction despite pleading guilty to assaulting ex-girlfriend
Nick Kyrgios saw the common assault charge against him dismissed.
Great Britain braced for ‘complicated’ Davis Cup qualifier in Colombia
Matches will be played at an altitude of 2,600 metres and with pressureless balls.
Heather Watson ends her quarter-final drought with win in Thailand – ‘It was just survival of the fittest’
Heather Watson will now face Chinese seventh seed Xinyu Wang.
Toni Nadal shares thoughts on fans’ hostility toward Novak Djokovic as well as Rafael Nadal’s future
Toni Nadal on why Novak Djokovic has so many detractors.
Stunning LTA numbers confirm tennis participation is booming in Britain
New figures have revealed that there has been a 47 per-cent increase in tennis participation in clubs and parks across Britain.
Aryna Sabalenka’s 2023 tennis schedule: Where is she competing next and her season so far…
A look at Aryna Sabalenka’s possible tournaments for the 2023 season.