Rafael Nadal says the tennis season must continue and called for the sport to “find solutions” to the issues surrounding quarantining.

Novak Djokovic claimed a majority of tennis players did not want to carry on with the season if it means going through multiple periods of quarantine because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But Nadal said: “If we stop our sport, a lot of people are going to suffer.

“We need to think a little bit bigger and, of course, protect players.”

Djokovic and Nadal are among several players to have experienced physical problems following the 14-day period of isolation before the Australian Open.

Many European countries now have significant restrictions on travel and Djokovic, who set up a separate player body to the ATP last year, called for urgent discussions.

Speaking after his five-set quarter-final defeat by Stefanos Tsitsipas, Nadal said: “He’s completely right that for our sport things are difficult because governments are changing the rules constantly.

“So it’s difficult to make predictions about how the things are going to happen.

“But there is a very clear thing. There are two options. Stop the tour or keep going.

“My personal feeling is it’s tough for the players, of course, to have to do bubbles in every single event. A lot of players have family and they cannot have the family with them, so that makes our tour probably tougher than ever.

“But on the other hand, if we stop the tour, why and how and when will we be able to come back? And a lot of jobs are going to suffer a lot.”

The 34-year-old Spaniard suggested one way to help players was to protect rankings “to not force them to keep playing”.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion was playing his first tournament of the year after back tightness, following a stint in Australian quarantine, kept him out of the ATP Cup team competition.

But he did not blame the unusual build-up for his defeat by Tsitsipas.

“I’m not the guy that’s going to find excuses on that or going to complain about what happened,” he said.

“Just accept. I never considered myself an unlucky person at all. Doesn’t matter the injuries that I had. I think I am a very lucky person.”

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