Former U.S. Open Championship runner-up and current number 13 tennis player Madison Keys looks pretty excited about resuming of the matches.
Undoubtedly, the universal COVID19 threat kept the world locked up all around and the field of sports was no exception to it. However with the release of the partial schedule the game is all set to hit the floors again very soon. Players longing for some real action are looking forward to making their marks in the court again.
“Halfway through the year, we’re (usually) all kind of thinking, ‘Oh, I’d love some weeks at home. Been on the road for so long. Those pressure moments in matches are so stressful. And now we’re all like, ‘Please put me on a center court, break-point down in the third because I would love to have that feeling again.” She told recently.
The current scenario worldwide lacks the charisma that it held earlier for so many years especially for tennis. The return of top-level tennis tournaments will certainly miss the corresponding glamour and monetary rewards. Probably the players will have to bear with stark cuts in money prizes that might amount to as much as 40% in all.
It is equally true that top-seeds are practicing rigorously but the lethargy of those who have already taken a break from the game makes things not so pleasant. More importantly, the matches will be spectated by a comparatively lesser number of fans owing to the pandemic. This gloominess is going to bring upon a very tough time for tennis players across the continents.
“I don’t think many of us — outside of having an injury, maybe — have gone this long without that level of competition. So being able to have some of these tournaments back on the calendar has been really great, even just for my mentality — just because I know I’m working for something,” said Madison Keys.
“It’s really difficult to keep practicing when you don’t really have a goal in mind,” Keys told.
Although the participants know that things are no longer the same but they are hunting for a lot of answers about the tournament like what are the arrangements for their safety and provisions, what are the new locker-room protocols and above all what will they do without fans viewing the matches live.
Let us have a look at some important issues that are likely to affect the comeback.
Lesser Number of Spectators- unlike the USTA the French Open and only the other two tours will possibly allow fans to view and enjoy the matches on-site at some point.
Low rewards- The WTA will cut prize money by 30% in case of a lesser number of fans watching the match and by 40% if there aren’t any of them. Similarly, the ATP’s Masters Tournament 1000s will also go for deductions.
Points or Ranking- It should be noted that both WTA and ATP are still mum on how they will decide their rankings that remained shelved since March this year. Evidently, the matter could be addressed once the games resume.
Travel and Safety- The United States Tennis Association considered special flights from all over the world and is ready to take all precautionary measures to ensure players stay safe and COVID-free both before they travel and during the matches. Notably, the new set of rules for players’ safety is still to be announced by the Women’s Tennis Association and ATP.