Mara jokes with Nadal not to ‘lose badly’ and urges patience to return to tennis

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Retrieved 28 April 2020, 23:34 IST

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Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal

Andy Murray joked that Rafael Nadal should not be called upon to be patient to return to the original tennis tour after being pasted into the Madrid Open Virtual Pro.

On Monday Murray and Nadal each came through their virtual openers but the British came to the top of their conflict and dropped just one point to win 3-0.

After their online competition, Murray pumped a handful into the camera and Nadal gave a quick thumbs up before logging in early.

In an interview after the match, Murray said: “If you talk to Rafa, tell him not to be such a bad loser next time!”

He added about the possibility of winning the whole thing: “I think I definitely have a chance.”

Murray then reached the quarterfinals unbeaten, defeating Denis Shapablov, and Nadal Benoit Pierre suffered another defeat.

Murray, a three-time Grand Slam winner, later questioned the challenges facing sports in the coronavirus epidemic.

Tennis was severely affected by the suspension of ATP and WTA tours, at least until mid-July, the Wimbledon was canceled for 2020 and the French Open rescheduled for September.

Some have predicted that neither tour will resume this year, and Murray said public health and the return to normal daily activities should take precedence over a return to sports.

“I’m sure all tennis players want to compete and return to play as soon as possible. But right now it’s not the most important thing,” Murray said.

“First of all, we want to get back to our normal lives, just to be able to go out, see friends, go to restaurants and get your normal freedom.

“And then hopefully over time things will start to allow travel and sports will be able to get back to normal. But I don’t see that happening anytime soon.”

“The first is to try a way to stop the virus from spreading, and once that is done we will be able to do more common things without having to compete in sports.”

“A lot of people want to see the game again so obviously athletes and players want to compete.

“It’s entertaining and it’s something that a lot of people enjoy. When you don’t watch it for a while, people realize how much they like playing it and watching it.

“But just because we don’t play sports right now doesn’t mean we have to do things fast.

“Let’s focus on getting our normal lives back and hopefully then all countries can pick up the virus properly.

“I am certainly not an expert on this but I assume that the danger is when you go back trying to do things very quickly to avoid social distance and then if we go back on international travel there could be a second wave of infection and maybe it again. Will slow everything down.

“It’s not what anyone wants. Just try it first and get things back to normal first and then we can think about playing the game again.”