The 2021 Australian Open is arriving later than anticipated, with a formal announcement issued earlier this month. Organizers issued press releases that noted scheduling of the 2021 Australian Open would be delayed by three weeks, marking its new opening match date as February 6th. Immediate speculation began on the possibility of Roger Federer returning under this timeframe, with the 6-Time champion confirming he’ll not likely make a formal appearance. That’s because Federer has actively worked towards avoiding the coronavirus, something which this champion accomplished throughout 2020. It’s unlikely that Federer would risk infection for the possibility of becoming a 7-Time Champion.
Roger Federer hasn’t competed in the “Association of Tennis Professionals” since January 30th, 2020. That’s when the coronavirus first became known to the world, with information being released which indicated China had entered an outbreak scenario. That outbreak would quickly exceed their borders & become an international pandemic. Millions have died, with millions more being infected and left with respiratory problems. Federer will guarantee his long-term career by avoiding the virus & possibility of receiving respiratory issues.
An official statement issued by Roger Federer noted that he’d hoped Covid-19 would have ended by February 6th. He’d mention that it’s his believe the pandemic won’t end until summer of next year, potentially later. This means Federer is waiting until competitors & ATP personnel are guaranteed to have received vaccination. Federer refuses to battle against anyone unvaccinated, meaning Novak Djokovic & Roger Federer might never compete again. Djokovic is an Anti-Vaxxer.
Quarantine Not Viable
Competing requirements for individuals signing on with 2021s Australian Open were issued. Details emphasis that competing players must arrive between January 15th to 17th, with fourteen days of quarantine required before clearance is awarded. That’ll be another likely attribute that Federer wants to avoid when playing in 2021. Standard quarters, training opportunities, and sanitary methods are required for the 6-Time champion. It should be noted that there’s the possibility 2021s Australian Open could be terminated.
The Women’s Tennis Association saw one of their formidable & older athletes announce their public retirement. Julia Goerges announced that she’d retire from professional tennis this October. Julia Goerges obtained numerous accomplishments before retiring, with her most notable being a Semi-Finalist in Wimbledon in 2018.
Julia Goerges reached the highest ranking of 9th in the Women’s Tennis Association in 2018. However, throughout the last two years, there’s been a steep decline for Julia Goerges. Before retiring in October 2020, she’d be ranked 45th in the WTA. That doesn’t mean Julia hadn’t acquired multiple accomplishments that most WTA professionals dream of obtaining. This included three WTA titles, with one coming in 2010 & the other two arriving in 2018. Julia Goerges also maintains two Grand Slams in the Doubles Division, defeating the likes of Naomi Osaka & Bianca Andreescu.
The steep decline began when losing to Caroline Wozniacki in the 2020 Auckland Open. This loss prompted an immediate reduction to 38th-Ranking. It’d mark her loss against Laura Siegemund that started the further decline to 45th-Ranking in the WTA division. October 21st would mark when Julia Goerges announcement her retirement, which falls after reaching her lowest ranking since 2016. Most that followed Julia Goerges sporting career would agree that it had critical highs & substantial lows.
Julia Georges addressed supporters on her website, providing a farewell letter for the Women’s Tennis Association. Julia expressed that after fifteen years in professional tennis, it’s time to say goodbye & move onto her new adventure. Julia told that her next chapter has prompted considerable excitement for herself and that she’s ready to depart professional tennis.
Steve Simon Reacts to Retirement
The Chief Executive Officer of the Women’s Tennis Association, Steve Simon, evoked that Julia Georges maintained powerful skillsets throughout her career. CEO Simon continued by noting the exemplary sportsmanship displayed by Julia over fifteen years, and caring nature that created her position as WTA Ambassador. It’s these reasons & multiple more that CEO Steve Simon believes Julia Georges was loved by fans worldwide. Her presence on the WTA Roster will be sorely missed.
There’ve been few instances throughout the career of Novak Djokovic that’ve seen the tennis professional evoke emotion. That wasn’t the case when competing against Rafael Nadal & then losing against his formidable rival. Brilliance associated with Djokovic is undeniable, with Novak having acquired 17 Grand Slams. However, his career has been surrounded in controversy after opinionated statements on Anti-Vaxxing. Novak Djokovic has stood firm, never revealing emotion when receiving negative feedback from supporters & critics. When losing against Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic would break-out into unexpected emotion. Tears of disappointment were cried by the ATP #1, prompting supporters to rally for their sport’s greatest athlete.
Novak Djokovic was undoubtedly unmatched against Rafael Nadal during the French Open. Nadal displayed aggression & dedicated pressure after the two men had spoked poorly about one another in the press. Novak Djokovic couldn’t handle the younger ferocity associated with Rafael Nadal, forcing the ATP #1 to make unexpected errors. The 1st set ended with Djokovic scoring zero points & Nadal scoring six.
Rafael Nadal is tied for highest-scoring Grand Slam victor, tying against Roger Federer. Both men have acquired 20 Grand Slams, with Novak Djokovic desperate to sustain similar records. Djokovic might be ranked #1 in the Association of Tennis Professionals, but he hasn’t obtained a prominent reputation similar to Federer or Nadal. It’s suspected that this is the core reason why Djokovic broke-down & cried for the first time in a public setting.
Some believe the emotion displayed by Novak Djokovic was minimal. After crying those few tears, Djokovic went back to his robot-esc behaviour. It didn’t matter that hundreds of fans were cheering for the ATP #1, or that by the third set he was beginning to show improvements. After leaving the French Open, Novak Djokovic was seen speaking to nobody & headlining for his respective vehicle. It’s been a prolonged period since Djokovic has taken a loss so seriously.
The New York Times
Ben Rothenberg, a reporter for the New York Times, stated during their review that Djokovic needs to show more emotion & that it doesn’t need to be saddening exclusively. Ben Rothenberg believes supporters will see more humanity from Novak Djokovic if he’d scream, throw a racquet, or engage in verbal discussions with his opponent. However, these are all actions that Djokovic has actively avoided & that continued when he competed against Rafael Nadal.
The National Bank of Canada announced that they’d
provide their tennis professionals with cash grants, ensuring they’re protected
throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This included 23 individuals that are
registered through Tennis Canada, the governing body that’s responsible for the
Association of Tennis Professionals and Woman’s Tennis Association. These
Canadian Pros have faced significant financial pressure by being unable to
compete in their respective tournaments.
Tennis Canada & the National Bank
collectively announced that up to $20,000 would be awarded to these
professionals. The amount granted to these individuals will depend on their
level in the WTA or ATP, with lower-ranking professionals making considerably
less than their champion counterparts. This announcement follows after all
other professional athletes in Canada were awarded grants through their
sporting associations, including players in the NHL and MLS.
The tennis professionals in Canada aren’t
considered the most influential, with their recognizable star athlete being
Bianca Andreescu. The average tennis pro in Canada is ranked from 10th to 750th
in Single Competitions, while competitions in the Doubles Tournaments are
listed in the top 100. It should be noted that Bianca Andreescu is the
highest-rated Canadian tennis pro, at the 10th highest valued WTA competitor.
Additional recipients of this grant will include Leylah Annie Fernandez, Sharon Fichman, Brayden Schur, Peter Polansky and Rebecca Marino. These individuals haven’t been permitted to compete since all tennis professionals were informed the WTA & ATP Seasons had been terminated internationally, with the cancellation taking effect in Mid March. It’s been confirmed that these competitors won’t be permitted to play until August 1st, with a specific exception being made to the “Rogers Cup – Men’s Tournament” in Toronto, Ontario.
Leylah Fernandez Selected
Few tennis professionals from Canada have made public remarks regarding their grant. Leylah Annie Fernandez provided her insight, noting that these finances won’t exclusively assist with her day-to-day living standards but will also guarantee her training doesn’t end. That means Leylah can continue to represent the Canadian Sports Community to the best of her abilities. Some disputed these claims, as Fernandez is located in Florida, Boynton Beach. This location wasn’t by choice for Leylah Annie Fernandez. She was slated to compete in the state when COVID-19 broke out in America, being unable to return home, Leylah has remained indoors at her training facility.
Tennis athletes worldwide have been forced indoors under the global social distancing measures, with most nations not expected to lift their restrictions until July 1st or later. It’s prompted multiple athletes to reconsider how they engage with their favourite sport. Two females from Italy showcased their concept of playing tennis during the coronavirus, which became a viral sensation.
These two women were seen playing tennis from the rooftops, using the barrier between the connected buildings as their net. The length of this building enabled these women to social distance from one another. Tennis athletes that saw this viral video immediately enacted similar conditions with local friends & family, where available. It should be noted that most rooftops in North America don’t support the styling of European architecture. Buildings are typically split from one another and roofs are often angled. Unless living in an apartment complex, North America tennis athletes will find it challenging to engage with this method.
Thousands worldwide have posted videos of them playing tennis on their rooftops, still using the concrete barrier between the connected buildings as a net. Considering that summer is shortly arriving, and weather conditions are improving, it’s the perfect time to implement this scenario.
When Will Tennis Resume?
The Association of Tennis Professionals and Women’s Tennis Association haven’t provided concrete answers to when international venues will resume. Information regarding the novel coronavirus is continuously changing, with updates forcing WTA and ATP Executives to keep their strategies private.
One strategy was leaked to international reporters, which revealed that attendees wouldn’t be permitted at these ATP or WTA venues for the first matches. Depending on the conditional factors of COVID-19 throughout the summer months, attendees could be allowed again. Another strategy suggests that the Association of Tennis Professionals engage specialized sanitary methods, ensuring anybody entering or leaving the facility will be tested for the novel coronavirus.
The second strategy is unlikely, with testing kits throughout North America and the European Union being limited to medical personnel. This follows after nations worldwide purchased an influx of testing kits for the novel coronavirus, which prompted an international shortage afterwards.
Tours for international tennis have been suspended amongst the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic. However, there are now independent organizers that are ignoring the recommendations of the World Health Organization and Centre of Disease Control. Obtained data revealed that international tours would be played throughout Germany in the Rhineland-Palatinate Province, which borders multiple European nations like France and Belgium. The Telegraph rumours that thirty-two matches will be played throughout four days. It follows after German authorities confirmed that the lockdown period would be lifted by May 1st. Safety protocols for this independent tour will be required, somewhat ensuring the protection of athletes and coaching staff. It’s expected that attendees won’t be permitted and that these will be televised events exclusively.
Individual players have been confirmed for these independent tours, including Germany’s Yannick Hanfmann and Dustin Brown. There’ll be a maximum of 100 players supported throughout this series, with them demanding the limitations of spectators. Confirmed broadcasters for this tour includes PlaySight and SkySports, meaning that online betting will be permitted. This was possible after receiving permission from the Tennis Integrity Unit, which governs specific tours throughout the European Union.
The Tennis Integrity Unit revealed the details behind this proposal. Agents with this governing association expressed that multiple organizers introduced this proposal, proposing various strategies to experience international tours throughout this unprecedented period. TIU Agents reviewed these various strategies and determined which protocols will best suit players. These plans were encouraged to be discussed with athletes, ensuring their approval as well. Everyone collectively agreed and are now moving forward. However, this can prompt potential fines from the World Health Organization, who still have social distancing measures implemented throughout the European Union.
The Mouratoglou Tennis Academy, which is established in France, confirmed that they’d be holding the “Ultimate Tennis Showdown”. Created by Serena Williams head coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, this series will begin on May 16th. Multiple athletes confirmed their appearance at the UTS Venue, which included Alexei Popyrin and David Goffin. French tennis fans hope that athletes like Novak Djokovic or Nadal Rafael will compete in this competition. It’s expected that ten matches will be held weekly, with broadcasts being supported online. Attendees won’t be permitted, and minimal staff will be employed. These conditions will hopefully ensure the safety of ATP & WTA athletes.
Professional athletes worldwide have been donating substantial funds towards Covid-19 Relief or Research. The most recent include Roger Federer, one of the most infamous tennis players in the ATP. March 25th marked the date that this champion announced a $1.02 million donation to families in Switzerland. These families will have needed to been impacted by Covid-19. The announcement was prompted across multiple social media platforms run by Roger Federer.
Formal statements were provided through his social media accounts. Roger Federer noted that throughout these challenging and unprecedented times, nobody should be concerned about being left behind. That’s why I’ve personally decided, alongside my wife, to donate $1.02 Million towards the most affected families across Switzerland. The former champion expressed that their donation is just the beginning, and more will need to come forward. Since Switzerland is filled with numerous millionaires, it’s expected that they’ll recover financially and physically from Covid-19.
Covid-19 is becoming a pandemic across Switzerland, with more than 140+ citizens being killed for the novel coronavirus. John Hopkins University has been reviewing the outbreak in Switzerland, which has more than 10+ thousand confirmed cases. The potential for increased spreading and deaths are exponential in Switzerland. It should be noted that 19+ thousand have died worldwide, which is why nations globally are working towards eliminating this virus.
Additional Donations from Tennis Athletes
Simona Halep from the Women’s Tennis Association confirmed that she’d purchased a large volume of medical supplies for Romania healthcare workers. This announcement was made on March 17th, which assisted the local medical community in protecting themselves before Romania became a pandemic. Additional donations from tennis athletes include Bianca Andreescu, who auctioned her tennis gear during a coronavirus fundraiser. The Canadian athlete donated those funds to Canadian Healthcare Workers. John Isner, Caty McNally and Martina Hingis also made individual donations to fight against Covid-19.
None of the names mentioned above will play professional tennis until June 7th. This follows after both the Association of Tennis Professionals and Women’s Tennis Association confirmed the postponement of both leagues amidst Covid-19. Instead of supporters waiting until May 2020 for a Grand Slam event, they’ll be waiting until September 2020.
The tennis community has been shocked by the growing pace of Bianca Andreescu, a Canadian athlete under the Women’s Tennis Association. She skyrocketed to popularity after defeating Serena Williams at the 2019 Wimbledon. Bianca has also acquired championship titles at the United States and Australian Open’s. This has allowed for the profits relating to social media to jump drastically for Bianca Andreescu. It’s estimated that she earned $35,000.00 for every social media post made on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Subsequently, Bianca is now the highest-earning athlete under twenty-five when it applies to social media. Individuals like Virat Kohli and Cristiano Ronaldo earn considerably more for posts on Instagram or Facebook, making upwards of $100,000.00. This is the potential profits that Bianca can make in the coming years.
Statistic reports regarding her social media profiles indicate that an average of 97 thousand likes occurs per posting. This extends to more than one thousand comments. All information has been provided from Nielsen Europe, which is operated by Salvatore De Angelis. The Head of Digital Operations at Nielsen Europe expressed that better success on tennis courts allow for increased commercial opportunities for athletes. This doesn’t just apply to the sporting industry but extends to the technology and fashion sectors. Popularity regarding social media is allowing new generations in these fields to earn substantial profits that have never before been seen.
It should be noted that Bianca Andreescu could’ve earned $50,000.00 per social media posting after winning the 2020 Australian Open. Unfortunately, this Canadian athlete was forced to back out of the competition following a significant left-knee injury. There hasn’t been a singular opponent that’s outmatched Bianca, allowing her to retain the 6th Position Ranking in the Woman’s Tennis Association.
Joao Souza Banned for Life
Another surprising headline shocked the tennis community this week. The Tennis Integrity Unit confirmed that Joao Souza from Brazil had been banned from tennis for life. This follows after Souza was convicted for multiple counts of corruption and match-fixing. It’s estimated that this athlete committed several breaches against the code of conduct from 2015 to 2019. This included fixing matches regarding the ITF Futures Tournament and ATP Challenger. Affected nations included the United States, Mexico, Czech Republic and Brazil. Joao Souza has also received a $200,000.00 fine for his illegal actions. Souza should be happy with these results, as upwards of 10-years in prison was applicable in this conviction. He passed by those years by paying the fine immediately.
Atlantic Canada is getting itself a new sporting complex in Nova Scotia, Bedford. The small town in the Eastern Province took advantage of the current tennis scene in Canada. The Chairman of the Atlantic Tennis Centre and International Tennis Federation spoke with local government officials to convince them to allow for a massive indoor tennis complex in Bedford. After considerable deliberation, it has finally been confirmed that this proposed sporting complex has been approved and will be built within the next two years. It will be a state-of-the-art facility that caters to all levels of tennis.
Nova Scotia has had multiple new gymnasiums and sporting complex’s built-in Halifax to accommodate various sports, such as Hockey. However, all facilities for tennis haven’t been upgraded in nearly a hundred years. The most recent improvement to a professional tennis facility in Nova Scotia was the Halifax Common Tennis Courts, which got resurfaced for the first time since the 1960s. Another example is that the current Atlantic Tennis Centre is maintained at the Bedford Commons on a six-court dome beside Canadian Tire. It will cost the Atlantic Canada Tennis Association $11 Million to develop this sports complex, which is being funded through a capital campaign. Those wanting to donate can go through their local municipal or federal government donation sites.
The upgraded and new Atlantic Canada Tennis Facility will manage eighteen courts. Twelve of those courts will be located inside, with the additional six designed outside the new complex building. Atlantic Canada Tennis Centre hopes that their new facility will be opened by May 2020, but an impending horrendous winter for all of Canada will push back development schedules. Subsequently, Tennis players in Nova Scotia can anticipate the facility to be opened by Mid-Summer 2020.
Tennis in Canada
Tennis has always been a staple sport for Canada. Schools nationwide require students to learn and engage with the sport because its one of the healthiest played worldwide. It’s also one of the few sports that doesn’t have any contact while requiring you use your full body. Subsequently, this assists in lowering heart disease in young children. Ever since Bianca Andreescu from Mississauga Ontario became the highest-ranked Canadian Tennis Player by the Women’s Tennis Association, the popularity of the sport has skyrockets nationwide. Her success has inspired other female Canadians to participate in the game. Bianca is expected to become the next Serena Williams, with the youngest defeating Williams at the most recent Wimbledon.
After being victorious in Basel, Federer has withdrawn from Paris in an attempt to manage his schedule carefully. This might be seen that the 38-year-old legend’s retirement is a looming reality on the horizon.
During last week, Federer sped through his tenth Swiss indoor tournament to win the title. In his home town of Basel, he never dropped a single set against Alex De Minaur during their clash in the finals. Within 69 minutes Federer sealed a 6-2 6-2 victory over his opponent. Then Federer withdrew from the Paris Masters, scheduled the following week. His response to this was that he needs to pace himself to be able to remain longer within the ATP Tour.
Final Year before Retirement
Regardless of his withdrawal from Paris, the 38-year-old tennis star is still planning on playing in the ATP Finals set to take place in London during next month. It has been many years since he last won this season-ending tournament in 2011. Federer’s latest victory in his hometown placed brought him his 103rd ATP title. This is placing him a mere six behind tennis legend, Jimmy Connors. There are always more records to chase within the sport, but the sense that 2020 might be the last year before retirement for this Grand Slam champion with 20 victories behind his name, is growing.
During Federer’s interview following his winning performance in Basel, it became evident that it isn’t as much the physical toll on his body which is holding the star back, but much rather the mental toll on his mind which is getting heavy. While he was addressing the crowd, he was very emotional. He stated that it was indeed due to the hard work of the past week and the flood of thoughts that he had over his family, which led to his emotional breakdown. He also stated that managing four children is one of the significant challenges in his life.
Putting Family First
It is evident that family plays a vital role in the life of this father of four and that even though he is so close to catching up with Connors, he won’t be blinded by that possible achievement and in the process put his mind and body under unnecessary stress. He also stated during a previous interview that he is not planning on chasing records in his career. For this man, his family and his health are getting priority seats in his life, and everything else, including tennis, comes second to that.
For the moment it seems that it would only be injury or if something would happen to his parents which will mean an immediate retirement for Federer. Yet, he very much aware of the fact that his career is coming to an end and that his days on the court, playing for his beloved crowds is quickly running out.