It has been a slow restart to the tennis season as you would expect. The events in Palermo, Prague & Lexington on the WTA Tour have got us back in the groove though. It has eased us back in for Cincinnati this week, which is being played in NYC to keep everyone in the bubble. I must say it’s fantastic to have some big events back on. I obviously saw a bit of Serena in Lexington and have watched Murray v Tiafoe, Venus v Yastremska and Evo v Rublev in the first round here over the last few days. I have missed it and while some of the exhibition events have been decent, it is that extra competitive cauldron that I crave. It is very strange seeing The Arthur Ashe Stadium in the backdrop for ‘Cincinnati’ but these are strange times.
Now the entry lists have been confirmed and the draw is closing in on us (this Thursday), we can finally look forward to some grand slam tennis. I wasn’t sure this was going to go ahead and at times I really couldn’t see how it was going happen. Fair play to those who have been eager to play in it and have made the trip to New York. I also think it is totally understandable for those who aren’t so keen on making the flight. I know as a fan I wouldn’t have travelled this year, irrespective of had I been allowed or not. That doesn’t mean players shouldn’t. It is clearly a different proposition and whatever you feel comfortable with at the end of the day.
I really think this talk of putting an asterisk next to the champion is utter nonsense though. No doubt a lot of opinions here are based on who you support. I just think it would be wrong to do that, whoever the champions are. Some top players are missing but there is still so much quality there that to put an asterisk next to the winners wouldn’t do them justice. Neither event is a walk in the park for anyone in my opinion. A lot think it is for Nole in particular but I disagree completely, especially in these unique circumstances.
I was asked on Twitter recently which my favourite event was and in truth, I couldn’t decide between Wimbledon and New York. I always massively look forward to the US Open, as my trips over the years suggest. We won’t have the fantastic atmosphere to go with it this year due to the pandemic and therefore lack of spectators. I am still pretty up for this though.
Expect my preview of the draw on the weekend, in the meantime enjoy the tennis. I’m not sure how much I will read into this weeks form. It is quite a quick turnaround with the finals being on Friday and the big one starting on Monday. It may suit some and others not so much.
Andy Del Potro