The recent events surrounding the coronavirus have made many of us realise the things that we thought were important have turned out to be the most important of the unimportant things. It is a phrase I keep seeing and it is true. Tennis and Football being two of them from my perspective. Of course, they mean a lot but not when it comes to life, death and everyone’s safety.
With that in mind, the season being put on hold is an absolute must right now and for the foreseeable future. I don’t think anyone could argue with that. Our latest update is that the grass-court campaign has been pencilled in for the resumption of the tour. Who knows whether this will actually come to fruition or not. The situation will need to be addressed closer to the time. Wimbledon has already said they would rather cancel the event than play it behind closed doors.
I don’t blame the French Tennis Federation (FFT) for wanting to reschedule their event. I don’t think many would. The way they have just done it though without consulting anyone or any event is somewhat strange. To simply just notify them of the decision instead. Bizarre.
The very fact that they have rescheduled it just one week after the US Open from the 20th Septemeber to the 4th October has put the USTA in a bit of a position. It is not hard to see how both they and the Laver Cup (which the French will now clash with) are understandably miffed at the situation. Plenty of smaller events will be disrupted and may be cancelled this year due to the decision of the FFT. The Shanghai Masters is just one week after the final at RG as it stands too.
It’s a decision that players don’t seem to have taken to particularly well and I wonder how players like Rafa Nadal feel like? Champion in Paris and New York last year, he will have an awful lot to defend over those five weeks as it stands. People will say it’s the players who are lower down the rankings that will probably suffer more, especially in terms of prize money and that is both very true and very sad. Qualifiers would be the prime example.
Of course, as already mentioned there is a lot more to be concerned about right now. Undoubtedly! In a time when we are all meant to be working together though I find the FFT’s decision to go solo on this a strange decision. I suppose you could say that it is an unimportant version of panic buying.
In a world that has seen so much selfishness of late with people putting themselves first, maybe not everyone should be so quick to judge the FFT. It is a little strange, to say the least though.
Andy Del Potro.