“Sad Not to See the Crowds”: Rafael Nadal Shares Unfamiliar Image at Monte-Carlo Masters 2021

Published 04/14/2021, 6:05 AM EDT
Rafael Nadal of Spain plays a forehand against Guido Pella of Argentinain their quarter final match during day six of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters at Monte-Carlo Country Club in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)


It’s a venue that Rafael Nadal loves to come back to, and for good reasons. As 11 career titles would stand to testify, the Monte-Carlo Country Club, which hosts the prestigious Monte-Carlo Masters, is for Nadal what Halle is for his Big 3 peer Roger Federer.

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However, the sights and scenes around his favorite venue aren’t the same as they have been in previous years, and nobody’s feeling it more than the Spaniard.

For the first time in its history, the tournament is being hosted minus spectators owing to concerns around the novel coronavirus pandemic. And the new normal has made for some strange and unfamiliar optics that haven’t escaped Nadal’s eye.

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The 11-time champion has taken to Instagram to share an image of the iconic venue, shorn of crowds.

He apparently took the image after practice, after he was struck by how different and lifeless it looked without the usual buzz and chatter of people. The image shows an empty flight of stairs from the venue running into the sea.

Rafael Nadal took to Instagram to post an image of a spectator-less Monte-Carlo Country Club

Nadal tagged the image with a message which reflects his state of mind as much as it bears an echo of what many of his rivals, who have been regulars at this venue over the years, might be feeling as well. “Sad not to see the crowds here this year after practice,” the 20-time Grand Slam champion wrote.

The current World No. 3 will open his Monte-Carlo campaign against Argentine Federico Delbonis later on Wednesday.

Such is the draw this year at the event that Nadal and current World No. 1 Novak Djokovic find themselves in opposite halves and may not cross paths until they go deep into the tournament.

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The Serb will launch his campaign with a highly anticipated clash against hugely promising Italian tennis star Jannik Sinner later on Wednesday.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

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Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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