Coronavirus has defeated tennis and all other sports around the world for now. Of course, there are more pressing matters going on than tennis, but it was shaping up as an exciting year on the ATP tour.
Djokovic, as I expected, won the Australian Open defeating Theim who I thought was very unlucky. Djokovic yet again found a way to get offside with all fans except his one-eyed disciples. It is a shame the record books don’t sometimes have an asterisk next to them as this victory surely should have. The note would be Djokovic cheats and wins – taking an injury timeout at a crucial time when Theim had the momentum for basically feeling tired. It amazes me that he can get away with this behaviour and that he doesn’t see anything wrong with it and even seems put out by fans not cheering for him.
Federer after a courageous Australian Open playing injured and coming back from the brink twice suddenly announced he had knee surgery in late February. He stated he would be back for the grass-court season. This announcement was a massive shock to his fans who had no inkling that he was suffering a knee problem. In doing this, I took it to mean he wants to keep playing for as long as possible and saw taking time off mostly during the clay season as the ideal time. Getting the surgery seems to indicate he wants to fix his problem correctly and in doing so, prolong his career rather than battle on with it until it forced him to retire. As it turns out, he will miss no more tennis than all the other players.
With the ATP announcing a shutdown of the tour, there was the bizarre announcement from the French Open that they were moving the slam to late September. This decision seems extremely arrogant to me and done with no consultation to any other tournaments. Hard to believe they would rush this through with so much uncertainty around the coronavirus implications.
Now with most countries in some degree of lockdown, we tennis enthusiasts are faced with not being able to hit the courts. How are we going to keep up our skills? Perhaps doing some home gym if we have the equipment or bodyweight training is the best we can hope for during this time.
It will be interesting to see what not only the ATP does going forward but indeed all the other principal sporting codes once the coronavirus situation resolves. Not to mention the delusional Olympic committee which at the time of writing are still pressing on with preparations for Tokyo.