Rafael Nadal press conference

Rafael Nadal admits he missed fans in Rome return, saying: ‘Their energy is impossible to describe’

Rafael Nadal says he missed the energy of the fans as he got his first taste of behind closed doors tennis on Wednesday.

The Spaniard decided to skip the US Ope, which was played entirely without spectators, due to safety and scheduling concerns.

That meant he experienced the very different atmosphere for the first time in Rome, although it didn’t seem to affect his tennis as he beat Pablo Carreno Busta 6-1, 6-1.

“It’s not beautiful the feeling of playing without the spectators because the energy of the fans is impossible to describe,” Rafael Nadal told the media after the match.

“But for me, at least, today has been a very positive comeback.”

The Italian Open originally planned to allow a limited number of spectators into the arenas, but they were forced to abandon those plans due to local coronavirus spikes.

Similarly, the French Open intent to admit 11,500 fans each day to Roland Garros, which starts later this month, but it remains to be seen if those plans will survive a recent rise in Covid-19 cases in Paris.

Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.