Rafael Nadal disagrees with Roger Federer over Cori Gauff rule change

Rafael Nadal says he understands why the WTA have rules in place that limit the number of professional tournaments young players can compete at, which could affect 15-year-old sensation Cori Gauff.

The American teenager, who also goes by the nickname ‘Coco’, is into the fourth round of Wimbledon and will now take on world No.7 and former French Open winner Simon Halep on Monday.

However, despite her incredible run, Gauff is only allowed to play in 14 pro events during her 15th year – having earned the maximum four extra during a fantastic season – meaning she has seven left over the next eight months.

Roger Federer believes the rules – designed to prevent young players from burning out or getting long-term injuries – should be relaxed and put too much pressure on teenagers to perform in their rare professional outings, but Nadal is rather less opposed.

Asked about the current rules, Nadal told reporters: ‘Fourteen [pro events] at 15 [years of age] is not that bad. Normally I’m not playing that much!

‘Probably they do it to protect a little bit the physical issue. When you are that young, when you have her level of tennis, of course you follow the normal tour and you believe that you can manage very well, no?

‘But it’s true that your body is still under development. Sometimes it can be a little bit dangerous for the injuries in the future.

‘I don’t have a real opinion on this. But I understand the rule. Maybe it’s not bad.’

On Coco’s run at Wimbledon, the Spaniard added: ‘Her story is great, it’s very good for our sport to have stories like this.

‘It creates audience, creates positive feelings. Just well done for her. She really played some great matches. I saw her play. I enjoyed.’

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