Biosecurity is the keyword associated with Australia’s 2021 Open, a tennis tournament that was almost forced into cancellation earlier this year amid the bushfires. Information regarding the safety measures for 2021 was released by Craig Tilley, the Chief Executive Officer of Tennis Australia. He emphasized that organizers & health experts have determined how the venue will unfold in January, noting that reduced seating is being maintained to enforce social distancing.
Players in the Association of Tennis Professionals & Women’s Tennis Association will be forced into a “Biosecurity Bubble”, which means that a small number of personnel can surround that athlete. Craig Tilley clarified that international attendees wouldn’t be permitted in 2021, marking the 1st time in decades that Australia won’t allow worldwide visitors. March 12th marked the date when the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 an international pandemic, more than a month after Sofia Kenin & Novak Djokovic had acquired victory at the 2020 Australia Open. This venue saw crowds of 800+ thousand, with Novak raising the “Men’s Singles Trophy”, and Sofia lifting the “Women’s Singles Trophy”. Fans roared for their victory.
Craig Tilley spoke with the Australian Associated Press, indicating that their decision was made earlier into the week. He clarified that multiple options are being considered but that their primary strategy is near complete. Sentiments from Tilley mentioned that attendance numbers would drop tenfold, noting that 821 Thousand global citizens attended the 2020 Australian Open. Tilley anticipates that 15% of that record-number will be seen for the 2021 tournament, with all in attendance receiving special permission & residing in the borders of Australia.
Is there enough time?
The Australian Open refused the concept of postponing their tournament, being given ample time to determine proper strategies & rulesets that govern over those competing or attending. Craig Tilley suggested similar protocols to the United States Open, which arrives on August 31st and ends on September 13th. It’s known that the US Open will maintain mandatory testing, substantial levels of quarantine, and reduced entourages of five.
Craig Tilley believes that Melbourne will have curbed their spread of COVID-19 by January 2021. Pandemic levels in this region are growing daily throughout July, with the Melbourne region experiencing twenty-one consecutive days of confirmed infections in the triple-digitals.
After becoming an enemy within his respective sport, Novak Djokovic is refusing to retire from professional tennis. Confirmation on the continuation of ATPs #1 Player came from his head coach, Severin Luthi. Details on Novak’s position towards retirement wasn’t clarified by Severin & left to speculation, with most believing Djokovic will retire after another stint at the Olympics. That’d mean a departure after Summer 2021.
Novak Djokovic has lost the respect of an international community, which follows after hosting the Adria Tennis Tour Expo. Multiple civilians in Belgrade & Serbia were infected with the novel coronavirus following this exposition. It’s because Novak Djokovic chose nations that weren’t maintaining social distancing requirements. The tennis professional allowed guests, players, and on-site personnel not to wear face masks.
This would prove detrimental for Novak Djokovic & the ATP #1 would contract the coronavirus himself. No lessons were learned after contracting the deadliest virus seen in 75+ years, with Djokovic clarifying he’d never get the Vaccine & still stands with the Anti-Vaxxers worldwide. He’d never apologize for infecting others with the virus or putting their lives in jeopardy, which has turned the public mindset against Djokovic.
When the world community requested that the Adria Tennis Tour Expo be terminated after confirmed infections, Novak Djokovic responded by establishing the tournament would return by Mid-August. This has become the normal behaviour of ATPs #1, who grows angry whenever requested to abide by any societal standard. The ignorance level associated with this Serbian will inevitably destroy his career, which can be changed with minor readjustments.
Multiple athletes in the Association of Tennis Professionals have demanded that Novak Djokovic retire immediately. Severin Luthi responded to those sentiments for Djokovic, remarking that Novak has ambitions to win another Grand Slam & Gold Medal. Severin noted that Djokovic wouldn’t stop competing until those goals are obtained. Novak should prepare himself for the next return, though, with sentiments & compassionate responses towards the ATP #1 expected to be minimal. It’s hard to accept someone when their foolishness directly resulted in someone losing their life, something that Novak hasn’t even acknowledged or apologized for publicly. It’s disconcerting behaviour that must be addressed by the Association of Tennis Professionals.
Berlin will have their 1st tennis exhibition tournament since COVID-19 became an international pandemic, forcing professional sports to postpone their operations. Various sports have resumed in Germany, like Bundesliga. The returning of tennis though is being hailed by millions throughout the European Union, with Berlin being a notable location for the ATP Tournament.
Organizers behind “The 2020 Berlin Exhibition Tennis Tournament” have aimed Novak Djokovic & Alexander Zverev. These two men aren’t permitted to arrive at this tournament, with similar reactions from other exhibitions anticipated against Novak and Alexander. It follows after both men were seen partying in the Balkans, being shirtless & dancing with female attendees. Thousands of Balkan civilians were seen in the background.
This nightclub party was maintained after Novak Djokovic hosted the “Adria Tour”, which saw dozens of COVID-19 infections be sustained amongst tournament personnel & ticketholders. Multiple members in the Association of Tennis Professionals contracted COVID-19 as well, including Novak Djokovic & Alexander Zverev. New infections amongst ATP members included Borna Coric, Grigor Dimitrov, and Viktor Troicki.
Even after Alexander Zverev was confirmed negative & healed from the novel coronavirus, organizers with Berlin’s Exhibition Tennis Tournament pressured the ATP Athlete to withdraw his contention. An official statement from both parties claims that Alexander Zverev is self-isolating for precautionary purposes. That statement was proven false after paparazzi photographed Alexander at an undesignated party in Germany. It showed that Zverev hadn’t learned anything from his actions at the Adria Tour.
Edin Weindorfer is the Head Organizer for BETT 2020. He iterated that Alexander made more than one mistakes, aiming the selfish behaviour Zverev has displayed over the last month. It paints a poor picture of Germany to the international tennis community. His actions have caused for multiple ATP Athletes to backlash against Alexander, including Nick Krygios. Nick Krygios remarked that Alexander Zverev is selfish, alongside Novak Djokovic. Both men showed their lack of sympathy & maturity to the international community, which won’t be forgotten anytime soon. This extends tenfold towards Novak Djokovic & his refusal to be vaccinated for the novel coronavirus when their available later in 2021.
The sport of tennis is gearing up for the inaugural U.S. Open, but it will not be without changes. One of those changes will see is being held without the crowds of adoring fans. The event, which is scheduled to run from the 31st of August through to the 13th of September however will not enforce restriction on the teams that travel with players.
As expected, Flushing Meadows will play host to the Grand Slam event even though a number of top-seeded players have expressed concerns over its location in New York City. The plan submitted and approved by New York’s Mayor, Andrew Cuomo, will be without qualifying matches or mixed doubles matches.
Mike Dowse, the US Tennis Association chief commented that “We can showcase tennis as the ideal social distancing sport.” To date, there has not been any tennis tournaments played since March as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. However, in order to accommodate the U.S. Open, a firm health and safety plan has been provided to players, their teams and various other organizations involved in its running. These include:
Among the details in the US Open’s health and safety plan, which has been widely shared on social media, were:
All players who travel to New York to attend the tournament will be restricted to staying at hotels outside of Manhattans and may only book a maximum of two hotel rooms.
Only two people per room will be permitted however options for renting private residences is allowed
Players travelling to New York will be entitled to two rooms in an official hotel outside Manhattan.
No Players entering the U.S will need to get tested before leaving but will not be required to undergo quarantine
Throughout the tournament, all players, coaches and event staff will be tested once or twice a week and will have to submit to daily temperature checks.
All in attendance at the venue will be required to wear mask unless working out, playing in a match or practising.
United States has highest death toll from coronavirus cases
Currently, the United States has seen an implosion in the number of reported confirmed cases of CIVID-19. They also have the highest death rate with current reported deaths reportedly now surpassing 100,000. The state of New York has been the one hit the hardest with over 30,000 deaths being recorded, hence the added precautions, although many would argue the Open should be postponed. On the decision to move ahead with the U.S. Open, US Tennis Association chief Mike Dowse said, “We recognise the tremendous responsibility of hosting one of the first global sporting events in these challenging times. We will do so in the safest manner possible, mitigating all potential risks.”
The 2020 Tennis Calendar is dwindling with each passing week, with venue after venue confirming that their events have been terminated. The number of cancelled events exceeds forty, with all cancellations following after the COVID-19 pandemic has inflicted extensive damage. Additional tournaments were cancelled, with the Association of Tennis Professionals and Women’s Tennis Association both confirming that there won’t be any planned matches until July or August. Conflictions on when the season will resume have occurred, with the WTA believing a July restart is possible. The ATP doesn’t see regulated tennis being planned until August.
Another notable cancellation for the tennis community this year was “The International Tennis Hall of Fame”, who confirmed that this year’s introduction ceremony had been postponed until 2021. That means that Goran Ivanisevic & Conchita Martinez won’t be inducted into the HOF for another twelve months or longer. Organizers didn’t provide details on when the new ceremony will be hosted.
The International Tennis Federation also shocked loyal supporters, announcing that all planned matches and tournaments are cancelled until July 2020. This extends towards Disabled, Junior, and Senior Leagues. Updates on when this seasonal postponed will be lifted are expected to come by June 15th. That’s when official dates for the ITF 2020 Season will be revealed.
Tennis Professionals had begun hunkering down for the long haul when it was announced on April 1st that all tours were postponed until July 13th. The International Tennis Federation and Women’s Tennis Association are still abiding by that preplanned schedule. The Association of Tennis Professionals is the exclusive international league that’s considering a longer postponement. Their medical experts have informed them of outbreaks can still occur for prolonged periods, that is until a vaccine is released internationally.
Recent cancellations under the updated postponement period include the 2020 French Open, 2020 United States Open, and Wimbledon. Both the French & US Open are considering rescheduling their venues for August 30th to 31st. We’ll provide our readers with updates regarding this situation. Regardless of what happens with the 2020 Tennis Schedule, spectators won’t be permitted, and social distancing measures will be forced.
Organizers behind the French Open have provided supporters with updated insights into their future proceedings. This Tennis Tournament was slated to begin in May 2020, with postponements being enforced following the COVID-19 Pandemic outbreaking in France. This forced organizers to delay the venue until September 2020, with it now being revealed that attendees won’t be permitted at the Clay Court Grand Slam – French Open. It’ll come as a significant loss to profits with supporters not allowed at the September 20th to October 4th tournament. The French Tennis Association isn’t concerned about declining profits, with their worries more on local civilians. It should be mentioned that the FTA will be refunding the cost of tickets, or reimbursing supports with new passes for the 2021 French Open.
The French Tennis Associations President provided formal insight into their strategic plans. He noted that attendees not being permitted doesn’t terminate all finances, with television contractions and partnership agreements still present. This brings millions into the French Open yearly, with Bernard Guidicelli looking into other methods of earning revenue as well. Bernard has felt the requirement to obtain FTA Athletes additional finances, which follows after he was forced to suspend seasonal matches in Early March. The standard French Tennis season isn’t returning until 2021, with specialized tournaments like the Open being permitted under specific conditions.
The French Open isn’t the exclusive tournament that was forced into cancellation this year. Wimbledon was also terminated because of COVID-19, marking the 1st time since WWII that this infamous competition was postponed by 12+ months. After Wimbledon was concluded, the United States Open would also cancel their August dates.
Reassessing the Season Calendar
The French Tennis Association – Operations Division, is working with their respective governing bodies to determine if the 2020 Season Calendar can be revised. The FTA hopes that the season can be resumed, allowing for the well-known French Grand Slam Tournament to move forward in 2020. PR Representatives with the association have mentioned they hope to move forward with the GSA on September 27th. Maintaining all these respective matches is dependent on when the approval of the FTAs governing bodies.
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.
The Coronavirus Pandemic has forced governments worldwide to implement financial relief, with this extending towards multiple sporting associations. The latest association to confirm their relief aid for athletes is the French Federation. They confirmed that €35 Million would be provided towards individuals within the professional tennis community. It follows after international tennis venues were postponed until July 15th, with cancellations of significant events following. Instead of Wimbledon being played from May 24th to June 7th, it’s been reformatted for September 20th to October 4th.
One of the most influential sports throughout France is tennis, with its community dominating over the European Union. There’s an additional relief fund available to professional athletes through the ATP & WTA, which is worth €70 Million. Most of those funds were provided to France, ensuring that their community is protected during this unprecedented period.
Financial severe difficulties have strained athletes in the Tennis community, with requirements to ensure their safety during this health crisis becoming mandatory. Affiliated clubs with the Association of Tennis Professional or French Professionals will receive an unknown valuation of relief funds. This will extend towards coaching staff, international officials and FFT organizers.
Coronavirus in France
The COVID-19 Pandemic throughout France has become detrimental, resembling the black plague from old. More than 10+ thousand deaths have followed for civilians acquiring the coronavirus infection. They now stand as the 4th highest nation with confirmed deaths, exceeding the volume that was seen throughout Italy and Spain. Fatalities in France are expected to rise drastically throughout the next two weeks. Just like the United States of America, their 1st wave won’t finish until summer. Because of the volume of fatalities, a 2nd and 3rd wave will unfold before a vaccine is provided to the civilians of France.
It’s expected that after the vaccine is created and distributed worldwide, civil unrest throughout France will resume. Significant protests and riots could see substantial damage in the country. It wouldn’t be the 1st time that France citizens had proven themselves ignorant when their government-assisted them. It also won’t be the last time, with France being historically built on civil unrest. COVID-19 will restart what history has already shown us.
The All England Tennis Club announced that the Wimbledon Championships would be cancelled for the 1st time since World War II. This follows after the increasing concerns surrounding the COVID-19 Pandemic, which has shut down the entire United Kingdom and forced drastic changes onto daily lives. Tennis professions worldwide have been expressing their sadness towards the announcement but agreed with protecting the overall community.
This announcement came as a significant blow against Roger Federer, who is losing opportunities to compete in Grand Slam Competitions. This is because of his ageing capabilities at thirty-eight. It should be noted that Federer has won eight of the twenty Grand Slam tournaments he’s participated in. Another notable athlete to express their disappointment to this announced closure was Coco Gauff. This sixteen-year-old champion rose to celebrity status after defeating Venus Williams at the 2019 Wimbledon Championships. Gauff was slated to compete against Bianca Andreescu, who beat Serena Williams last year. These two young athletes competing against each other at Wimbledon would’ve been a memorable battle.
When it applies to Simona Halep, the winner of the 2019 Wimbledon Championships, she won’t be provided with the opportunity to defend her title. This comes as a significant blow to Simona, who has lost numerous training and competing opportunities. It’ll force a decline in her skillsets, which could mean losing her championship status to other notable WTA athletes like Gauff or Andreescu.
This didn’t stop Simona Halep from providing a social media posting on the 2020 Wimbledon Closure. She expressed through Twitter her disappointment towards the cancellation, with her noting that 2019s championship victory will be one of the most memorable and happy days in her life. Halep mentioned that COVID-19 is bigger than Wimbledon and tennis, that lives could be lost forever, but Wimbledon will always return. Simona Halep did note that she plans to defend her title and win in 2021.
The final sentiments were expressed by Katie Boulter, who mentioned that the closure comes as a significant loss for her professional opportunities. She said that supporting the overall community is more critical and hopes her opportunities won’t be lost after 2020. This follows after Katie has continued to age and lose her skillsets against younger opponents.
Professional Tennis Tournaments have been
postponed globally until April. This follows after the “Association of Tennis
Professional” confirmed through a press conference that a six-week postponement
would follow. This is because of the increasing health concerns regarding the
coronavirus, with the safety of attendees and participants being a significant
priority. That’s why both the ATP Challenger Tour & Regular Tour have been
cancelled until April 27th. This extends to the Women’s Tennis Association and
International Tennis Federation, who both confirmed that postponements would
last until April 20th.
The ATP Chairman noted that this decision wasn’t
taken lightly and that it’s a substantial loss for our supporters. However,
multiple governing associations and professional players agree that this
decision is best to ensure the safety of the overall tennis community. These
safety precautions extend to the general public as well, with this global
pandemic being unprecedented in the modern era. It should be mentioned that
staff were willing to walk off the job if cancellations weren’t implemented,
forcing the hand of the ATP regardless.
Statements from representatives with the ATP expressed that the global nature of Tennis requires international travel, which has been postponed by multiple nations under newly formed restrictions. Were having to continually monitor the situation daily to determine when the ATP Tour, WTA Championship and ITF Tournament can resume. This task has proven to be challenging for multiple sporting associations, including MLS and the Premier League.
The Cancelled Venues
Following the confirmation to cancel professional
matchup’s or tournaments, multiple venues have confirmed their closure. This
includes the events slated for Charleston, Miami, Bogota and Guadalajara.
Middle Eastern tournaments under the ATP Challenger Tour in Kazakhstan was
cancelled on March 14th. This extended to additional matchups under this league
in South Africa. When it applies to the World Tennis Tour, events were cancelled
at the Indian Wells and Monte Carlo.
It’s suspected that all these notable
cancellations will cause significant issues for tournament owners, who will
lose hundreds of millions in respective contract agreements. There are also
substantial concerns that ATP and WTA Players will begin losing access to their
monthly funds, with these competitors earning money from their professional
careers. Neither governing association has provided details on potential