Nadal travels to Rome, where in the end he will play without an audience

Rafa Nadal travels to Rome this Wednesday to start preparing in situ the first tournament that he will play after the stoppage caused in March by the coronavirus pandemic. The Balearic recorded a message for Italian fans that in the end they will not be able to follow the games in the Foro Italico, since by orders of the authorities of the Lazio Region, the Internazionali BNL, of which Nadal is the current champion, will be played without an audience.

Hours before leaving for Rome, Nadal trained on the clay courts of the Rafa Nadal Academy with the Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov under the supervision of Carlos Moyà. For the third time Dimitrov decided to train at the Balearic campus, where he already practiced in 2017 in July (later he would end up winning the 1,000 Masters in Cincinnati) and November of that year. Last week Pablo Andújar trained there with Nadal before taking on this gravel tour.

“Greetings to all the Italian friends who are looking forward to the Internazionali of Italy, which is turning 90 years old. The Foro Italico for me is always a special place, and this year even more so, because it will be my first tournament after a long time without playing. Goodbye everyone and see you, “Nadal said in the video. But fans will not be able to see him live, something that was described by Angelo Binaghi, president of the Italian Tennis Federation (FIT) as “a great injustice” and “an idiocy”. “We did not have autonomy to decide. We are waiting for an apology,” said the leader at the presentation of the event that will take place from September 14 to 21.

“For the first time we were struggling to have a balanced budget and I would not want our grassroots companies to pay for it. We are suffering a huge injustice, we have been the object of shameful discrimination: while other sports may have an audience present inside, here no one will be able to enter. Not even the thousand famous people for whom an exemption is not required. This is bullshit. It would be advisable for great nonsense not to cause great damage, “Binaghi snapped, very angry.

“We sent two protocols to the CTS, following all the suggestions, and then to the Region, which I am afraid has not even read them. We sent the last one on August 11 and on the 18th they called us saying that the WeTransfer had expired … We were willing to do anything to let the public in and we would have been satisfied with much less than the 11,500 people granted yesterday at Roland Garros ” continued the FIT president, whose words did not sit well with the representatives of the Lazio Region. “Binagui's words are very serious and unfounded.

The federative president clarified that they will return the price of the tickets to those who wish and to those who want they will be given a super bonus with a 25% discount and usable in the next two years also for the ATP Finals in Turin in 2021. Regarding the anti-COVID measures, the players will live in a bubble, between two hotels and the Foro Italico, which can be accessed with a test every 4-5 days. The athletes will do it, but also the staff: in total there will be about 700 admitted to the area, according to the Gazzeta dello Sport.