Coronavirus Wreaking Havoc on ATP and WTA tour
As a result of the risk level with Coronavirus, Indian Wells has been cancelled. This came as a shock to fans and players alike, as the announcement was provided late Sunday evening, when most players and many fans had already made the trek to Indian Wells and were excited to play the fifth biggest tournament in the world after the Australian, French, Wimbledon and US Open.
Although most players understand the health concerns, many were not happy that they were not kept in the loop or provided the option to play the tournament behind closed doors. I think that would be reasonable given that most of the players count on these big tournaments for their livelihood. Additionally, it would be interesting to know what players think about the cancellation of this event while hundreds of basketball, hockey, baseball and soccer games are taking place in stadiums all over the United States this week. There has been no serious talk about closed door games in American professional leagues.
Meanwhile, the tennis world is on edge. Nobody really knows what tournaments will be happening and which ones may be cancelled because of the crisis. The Miami Open today announced that the tournament is going to go on as scheduled. This should be good news to players and fans.
That being said, I think what everyone is worried about is the cancellation of the clay court tournaments in Europe. Italy is currently under a country wide quarantine, France and Spain may not be far behind. Monte Carlo, which is the first Masters 1000 stop on the clay court swing will be announcing shortly if the tournament will go on. We can assume that the Italian Open is likely to be cancelled given the situation there.
Which leads us to the second Grand Slam, the French Open. Will that be cancelled, or will it be taking place behind closed doors. It would be surreal to see a Grand Slam tournament cancelled. This has not happened in my lifetime, and I hope the situation improves so that we can see Nadal and Djokovic keep up the fight to catch Federer.
And out of this whole Coronavirus situation, from a tennis perspective, both Nadal and Djokovic must be feeling a bit disappointed at the prospect of cancelled Grand Slam events. Their window to catch Federer is not getting any bigger, at 33 and 32 respectively.
I hope these events can come to a solution that can satisfy both the fans and players, and also the health of spectators. I think the solution is moving as planned with the events but having them behind closed doors.