Coronavirus Cancels March and April Tournaments
ATP and WTA tournaments are being cancelled for the next six weeks. Currently, there are no plans to even play behind closed doors. The most recent victims are the Miami Open, Monte Carlo and Barcelona for the men, and Miami Open, Charleston and Bogota for the women. Tennis in March and April has pretty much been cancelled.
So, what’s a tennis fan to do? I for one, will not be watching replays of Indian Wells and the Miami Open for the next month. Neither will I sit through Nadal victories into April. Thanks Tennis Channel but no thanks.
What I propose is that we campaign for closed door practices with big names and have them televised by Tennis Channel or live streamed by ESPN. The players are still practicing, so why not watch them live? I just came across a great video of Shapovalov practicing with Nadal a few days ago in Indian Wells. You can check it out here. I would imagine that the Tennis Channel has access to the player agents and can easily set some closed-door matches. Maybe throw some money into it as well!
Given the clay court cancellations, there is a real possibility that the French Open will not be played, and if it is played, the players will go into it without any prep on the clay courts. That’s not good for anyone.
This is why it makes total sense to set up clay court exhibitions. The best scenario would be to hold it in one European city. Unfortunately, the players are currently spread all over the world trying to wait this out. Given the travel restrictions, if they convene in one city, most likely they will need to quarantine for two weeks. However, after those two weeks, they would be free to hit the courts and do some exhibitions.
So why can’t we do this? These are challenging times and Tennis is a whole different beast compared to other sports. Tennis players are not salaried like in other sports and make their living off all these tournaments. Let’s help the players and the fans!