'Sad to see': Rafa Nadal at odds with Novak Djokovic over fans

Riley Morgan
·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
Rafael Nadal (pictured left) during changeover and Novak Djokovic (pictured right) celebrating his victory.
Rafael Nadal (pictured left) lamented the lack of crowd at Monte Carlo, while Novak Djokovic (pictured right) said it was better for training. (Getty Images)

Rafael Nadal has lamented the lack of crowd support at the famous Monte Carlo tournament, which was in stark contrast with World No.1 Novak Djokovic's view.

Nadal, an 11-time Monte Carlo champ, faced a scare ahead of his clay-court season campaign after concerns over Covid-19.

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Daniil Medvedev, who was runner up to Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open earlier this year, had completed a practice session with Nadal prior to his positive test.

The Spaniard was not considered a 'close contact', despite the training session, and was able to breeze through his second round match against Federico Delbonis 6-1, 6-2.

But prior, Nadal had lamented the lack of crowd support at the prestigious tournament.

Nadal would often practice at the beautiful courts with adoring fans cheering him on.

The 20-time Grand Slam champ took to social media and mentioned he was thinking of his fans.

"Sad not to see the crowds here this year after practice,” he wrote.

Djokovic views Monte Carlo different with Nadal

However, Djokovic had recently said he felt more comfortable without fans at his practice sessions.

He pointed to the safe conditions and lack of outside interference as an opportunity to train with other players.

“It is better for training because there are no fans, there are only people from sponsoring companies,” Djokovic told the media.

“Under normal circumstances, it is difficult to provide courts for all players and then practice for an hour here, an hour there at the very beginning of the tournament when there are many players.

Rafael Nadal celebrates match point during their Round 32 match against Federico Delbonis during day four of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters at Monte-Carlo Country Club on April 14, 2021 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.
Rafael Nadal celebrates match point during their Round 32 match against Federico Delbonis during day four of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters at Monte-Carlo Country Club on April 14, 2021 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

“Now I notice that most players train one on one without the need to share the court. That may be a positive thing.

“You play matches where you usually train, meet people and spend time outside.

“Now we have time to look at the trainings of other players, for which we are grateful because we are in safe conditions due to all restrictions and it’s nice to catch some fresh air.”

Nadal's virus scare

While Medvedev's health is being monitored in isolation, fans have expressed concern for Nadal after footage emerged of their practice session together.

Leading tennis reporter Jose Morgado posted a video of the footage and the account.

Despite the concern, Nadal was not considered a 'close contact' of Medvedev, according to Morgado.

This allowed Nadal to practice on Wednesday and take part in the Second Round clash against Delbonis.

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