Rafael Nadal will play the Italian Open in Rome after his return to tennis.© AFP
Spain’s clay-court king Rafael Nadal called for caution on Monday with the French Open set to be played in front of the audience later this month despite Coronovirus concerns. Nadal, who will bid for the 13th French Open title in Paris, will compete this week on clay in Rome for the first time in six months due to an epidemic. The 34-year-old asked reporters about the French Open, “I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t know what the situation is like in Roland Garros.”
“Let’s see how the virus develops over the next few weeks. Hopefully, that’s a good way. It doesn’t look like that, no! See.”
“We need to be patient and wait to see how the situation will improve.”
World No 2 could win Roger Federer’s 20 Grand Slam titles if he wins in Paris.
The French Open, which was pushed back from May to the beginning of September 27, can host 11,500 spectators per day.
Nadal is competing in the Masters 1000 tournament this week for the 10th Italian Open title which will be played behind closed doors like the recent US Open.
Top female seed Simona Halep, the 2018 French Open winner, said she was “pretty sure it’s going to be very strict” on Roland Garros.
“I just read that they will have fans,” the Romanian said.
“But I’m pretty sure it’s going to be very strict.
“We can’t be with fans, we can’t be with people who are not in the bubble, so I think they will split up.
“Hopefully it’s going to be safe, and we’ll feel like a bubble here.”
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