ATP Tour

Nadal, Ferrer unworried by Zika virus

2016-02-16 07:20
Rafael Nadal (AP)

Rio de Janeiro - Spanish tennis stars Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer insisted on Monday they were unworried by Brazil's Zika virus outbreak as they prepare to compete at the Rio Open ATP tournament this week.

"I'm not at all afraid," Nadal, 29, told a press conference. "I go out at night, and I know there's a risk, but I'm just happy to be back here again.

"If I get sick well then that's just bad luck," insisted the 14-time Grand Slam winner.

"I can see for myself that people here are going about their business as if everything was okay, so things can't be that bad.

"People are going to the beach, going out for walks, having dinner in restaurants," the world number five continued.

Ferrer, ranked sixth in the world, said he had been reassured by Brazil's efforts to wipe out the mosquitoes which carry the virus.

"We've been told that everything possible has been done so that there will be no mosquitoes, which is comforting," he said.

"We've been wearing long trousers at night but I'm not getting obsessed by the whole thing."

Brazil has been most affected by the outbreak that has spread rapidly through Latin America and the Caribbean, with 1.5 million people in the country infected since early 2015.

While it causes only mild flu-like symptoms in most people, scientists suspect when it strikes a pregnant woman, it can cause her baby to be born with microcephaly, or an abnormally small head.

"The whole thing seems to have been blown out of proportion," Nadal said.

"The reality is that we are here in Rio for an international tennis tournament and I'm here and I can see that everything looks totally normal," he insisted.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Saturday vowed that the virus would not jeopardize the Rio Olympics in August.

Read more on:    david ferrer  |  rafael nadal  |  tennis
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Vote

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

 
 
/Sport
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
SuperBru Super Rugby challenge

Enter and challenge Sport24's staff!

Featured

As the Absa Premiership nears the Christmas break, a little over half the season remains. Who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Which teams will be relegated? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.