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Rafael Nadal confirms Madrid test between US Open and French Open dates
Spaniard Rafael Nadal
by John Skilbeck
7 Jul 2020, 15:01

Rafael Nadal has chosen to launch his clay-court season in Madrid during the week that follows the US Open.

The world number two could face a hectic schedule if he elects to travel to New York to defend his grand slam title.

That tournament will be behind closed doors at Flushing Meadows and it remains to be seen whether the Madrid Open, a Masters Series event, must also operate in the same circumstances.

Madrid's showpiece event was postponed from May and is now scheduled to begin on Sunday, September 13, the day of the men's US Open final.

Nadal may not need to play in Madrid until possibly the Wednesday, but it is possible he could be considering skipping the trip to the United States, focusing instead on the delayed clay-court swing.

After Madrid comes the Internazionali d’Italia in Rome, with the French Open, which Nadal has won a record 12 times, then beginning on September 27.

The 34-year-old Nadal has previously indicated he was unsure about travelling to New York, questioning whether that event should happen given the COVID-19 crisis.

Playing closer to home is more straightforward for Spain's 19-time grand slam winner.

Madrid tournament director Feliciano Lopez, who as a player won the Queen's Club singles and doubles titles last year, wrote on Twitter that Nadal had agreed to play his tournament.

"I've spoken with my friend @RafaelNadal and he's confirmed he will take part in Madrid this September," Lopez said.

He said Nadal would be welcomed "with open arms" at the event.

Nadal responded by writing: "Same with you Feli. See you in September in Madrid."