Rafael Nadal defends Adria Tour as intentions were good, but ‘hopes people learn’ from mistakes

Rafael Nadal press conference

Rafael Nadal insists the Novak Djokovic’s Adria Tour came from a good place, but concedes mistakes were made and “hopes people learn” from the tournament.

World No 1 Djokovic organised the exhibition event to raise funds for humanitarian projects in the Balkan region and invited a host of top players to take part.

However, the event was cancelled midway through after Djokovic, Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric, Viktor Troicki and several non-playing staff members tested positive for the coronavirus. The likes of Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem also competed but they returned negative tests.

The players have copped a lot of flak, but Nadal insists it was done with good intentions.

Dominic Thiem again hits back at Adria Tour critics, insisting Novak Djokovic ‘didn’t break any law’

“I think most of the players want the best for the world and for people. Of course there was a mistake in the tour organised in Serbia and Croatia but mistakes are normal when you face a situation you haven’t faced before,” he said during a video conference call.

“The players need to make decisions but I am not saying mine is the right one. Every decision can be right or wrong. We are facing unpredictable situations.

“I really hope people learn from the Adria Tour and we continue in the best way possible.”

Rafael Nadal insists US Open ‘is still a big tournament, it’s a Grand Slam’ despite withdrawals

Nadal on Tuesday became another high-profile US Open casualty as he confirmed that he won’t defend his title at Flushing Meadows due to coronavirus concerns.

“My heart says today is not the moment to take long travels without knowing exactly what can and cannot happen,” he explained.

“My decision is to stay at home in Mallorca where the situation is good, it looks under control here, and to wait for future opportunities.”

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