What Now For Tennis In 2020?






Skilled tennis has been in chilly storage since March as a result of coronavirus pandemic with tournaments unlikely to renew earlier than August. The ATP mentioned it won’t resume match play till the primary week of August in Washington. The WTA remains to be scheduling occasions in Palermo from July 20-26 and in Karlsruhe on July 28-August 2, for now not less than. The French Open has already been moved to Sept 20-Oct four though there are solutions that it might be put again by an additional week. Organisers say it could possibly be performed behind closed doorways. The USA Tennis Affiliation will resolve in mid-June on the US Open in New York.

AFP Sport seems at three speaking factors as the game heads into June:

Followers in or out at US Open and Roland Garros?

— In 2019, the US Open attracted a document crowd of just about 740,000 to its sprawling Billie Jean King Tennis Centre in New York.

The French Open final 12 months at Roland Garros introduced in 520,000 paying prospects.

Nonetheless, the 2020 editions of the 2 remaining Grand Slam occasions on the calendar will look very totally different with the possibility of them being performed behind closed doorways an actual risk to keep away from the unfold of the coronavirus.

Roger Federer, whose 20-Grand Slam title haul consists of 5 titles on the US Open and one in Paris, isn’t eager on seeing rows and rows of empty seats.

“I can not bear to see an empty stadium. I hope that will not occur,” the Swiss star was quoted as saying by Brazilian media not too long ago.

Two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova mentioned she too has no want to play a Slam with with out spectators.

“I want to play one other Grand Slam, but when it is like this, I would reasonably cancel them,” Kvitova mentioned.

“Enjoying with out followers who’re our engine does not look good to me and the Grand Slam does not deserve it.”

So far as the rescheduled Roland Garros in September and October is anxious, Jean-Francois Vilotte, the director-general of the French Tennis Federation (FFT), instructed AFP: “The intention is that there will probably be spectators.”

“However we may have the capability to organise Roland Garros regardless of the choice determined, together with behind closed doorways.”

Cash issues?

— There was no prize cash to play for over one of the best a part of three months however that hasn’t stopped it being mentioned.

The ATP and WTA excursions, the Worldwide Tennis Federation and the 4 Grand Slam tournaments — the Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open backed a fund price greater than $6 million to assist low-ranked gamers hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

World primary Novak Djokovic had already mentioned that he, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal — the game’s greatest earners with over $100 million every banked in prize cash alone — had been additionally prepared to assist.

Nonetheless, world quantity three Dominic Thiem was not eager on giving cash to lower-ranked gamers.

“Fairly truthfully I’ve to say that no tennis participant will probably be combating to outlive, even those that are a lot lower-ranked,” mentioned the Austrian.

Marion Bartoli, the 2013 Wimbledon champion, chimed in final week by suggesting a discount in doubles occasions with prize cash diverted to struggling gamers.

“You simply do not make the identical effort (in doubles) as a singles participant. You do not practise a lot, your routine is totally different.

“I do not know if we’ve to cease doubles fully, however to get much less cash and provides that cash to qualification and others, that could possibly be the answer.”

Are we making an exhibition of ourselves?

— There’s some tennis occurring on the earth at a sequence of tightly-controlled exhibition occasions.

Germany kicked it off on Might 1 with an eight-man exhibition within the tiny city of Hoehr-Grenzhausen, close to Koblenz which featured Dustin Brown, who famously defeated Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon in 2015.

Strict guidelines over well being and security meant there have been no followers, no ball boys or women and no line judges. There was only a chair umpire.

Handshakes had been banned, gamers dealt with their very own towels and introduced their very own water and fruit to the clay courts.

Comparable occasions adopted within the US earlier than Petra Kvitova received an all-Czech occasion in Prague final week.

“The gloves, face masks, the actual fact no one handed us the towels, no handshakes, that was undoubtedly weird,” mentioned Kvitova.

Different exhibitions are scheduled together with a World Workforce Tennis match in West Virginia in July that includes Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin and 2017 US Open winner Sloane Stephens.

Andy Murray will return from his newest harm drawback on June 23 in a charity match in London.

Nick Kyrgios joins Dominic Thiem at a grasscourt occasion – seemingly the one one this summer season – at Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport from July 17-19.

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