The famed “Big 3” of the ATP — Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer — are still making headlines even though the Tour remains on pause amid the pandemic.
While Djokovic and Nadal are making moves to return to tennis action, Federer is apparently going to take his time before getting back into the swing of things.
So as SBOBET ATP fans await for the Tour to get back to business, here’s a quick update as to what the three legends are currently up to.
Roger Federer believes Tour return still “way off”
Roger Federer isn’t ready to get back to tennis training just yet. The Swiss legend believes the Tour’s return from its pandemic-caused break of service is still “a long way off,” so he’s making the most out of the break to rest both physically and mentally.
“I’m not training at the moment because I don’t see a reason for that to be honest,” Federer said to Gustavo Kuerten on a video call.
“I am happy with my body now and I still believe that the return of the Tour is a long way off. And I think it’s important mentally to enjoy this break, having played so much tennis. When I’m getting towards returning and have a goal to train for, I think I will be super motivated.”
Federer also said he would be open to playing matches behind closed doors, but admitted that it would be “very difficult” to play major events with no fans.
The ATP and WTA recently extended the suspension of play until the end of July. While Wimbledon has been cancelled, the French Open is set to be rescheduled for September, which is when the US Open will also take place.
That should give the 38-year-old Federer enough time to enjoy his break, then get back to training as he goes in search for his 21st career Grand Slam title.
Rafael Nadal returns to training
While Federer is using his break to get some more rest and relaxation, Rafael Nadal is already getting back to work. The World No. 2 released a video showing himself returning to practice in his tennis academy.
“Hello everyone, here I am, finally back on court. Happy to be back to my practices,” Nadal said. “I’m super happy, too, that the kids can practise again here at the Rafa Nadal Academy. They are happy, and that’s the most important thing.”
In comments he made earlier this month, Nadal did not sound optimistic about the Tour’s chances of returning this year and hopes that it just restarts in 2021.
But if the Tour does resume play as planned by August at the earliest, Nadal should be all ready to go after getting a headstart on his training.
If not for the coronavirus, Nadal would be in Paris right now to defend his French Open title. Nevertheless, the French Open 2020 betting odds will still have Nadal as the heavy favourite should the tournament push through in September.
Novak Djokovic to host Balkan tennis tournament
Novak Djokovic is not waiting around for the ATP Tour to get started. The World No. 1 has gone out and organised his own tennis tournament, the Adria Tour, which will be held across the different Balkan countries from June 13-July 5.
Djokovic, who is back home in Serbia after spending the past two months stranded in a Spanish resort due to the coronavirus lockdown, shared more details about the tournament and its big-name participants.
“I am delighted that Dominic Thiem, Grigor Dimitrov and Alexander Zverev will be my guests here in my hometown,” Djokovic said. “This is the first time any of them will be playing here and I will do everything in my power to be a good host.”
The first leg of the Adria Tour will take place on the clay courts of Belgrade on June 13 and 14 at Djokovic’s complex and the second in Croatia’s coastal resort Zadar on June 20 and 21.
Montenegro and Bosnia have been designated to host the final two legs but Djokovic said they are still not ready at this point.
All four legs will feature eight players, who will play in two pools of four on a round-robin basis. The winners of each pool will move on to the final.
The number of games to win a set have been reduced from six to four, while a total of 13 matches will be played over two days in each leg.
It remains to be seen whether Djokovic will actually be able to pull off this ambitious tournament. But if he does, fans would surely love to see some of the top players in the game making some ATP 2020 highlights once again.
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