Rafael Nadal says playing in front of crowds at the Barcelona Open has reignited his hope tennis can regain what it had before the pandemic.
Tennis has been hit more than most by the Covid-19 crisis due to the global nature of the sport, with tournaments and travel subjected to regional restrictions and seemingly ever-changing laws.
The rollout of the vaccine around the world has injected some fresh hope that things are at least on the path to normality now, and there was a crowd, albeit a restricted one, in the stands to watch Nadal win a 12th Barcelona title on Sunday.
When asked by TVE about what is was like to play in front of a crowd again, Nadal said: “It’s a very positive feeling.
“The crowd is a basic pillar of any show. Without it, everything is much colder, perhaps less emotional.
“Let’s hope the rhythm of vaccination keeps growing and goes as fast as possible, so that we all can enjoy not just the crowd in sport, but a life more normal and pleasant than what we’ve had in the last year.
“I don’t remember a year since I’m alive as tough for mankind as this past year. So, let’s hope we can go back to what we had and as far as sport is concerned, with crowds in stands.”
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