Sports events all across the world have fallen to COVID-19. Whether it be high school track, or Major League Baseball, there are plenty of disappointed sports fans yearning for the day they can attend their favorite events. Tennis fans have recently been added to this list.
The biggest shock to the tennis world came on April 1st when the All England Club announced that Wimbledon would be cancelled this year for the first time since World War 1. Deemed the most prestigious of all professional tennis tournaments and Grand Slams, Wimbledon will not see the legendary stars of Federer, Djokovic, or Serena Williams returning to fight for another title.
WTA and ATP, some of the biggest professional tennis organizers, have also announced cancellation of all tournaments through July 13. This means that the grass court season, which takes place in the summer, will unfortunately be cancelled as well for all of 2020.
Roland Garros, or the French Open, has been postponed from late May to the fall, which caused another huge wave of pandemonium among tennis fans. The US Open, held in New York in the fall, has not yet been announced as postponed or cancelled and is set to take place about a month before the new date for the French Open. This has caused concern among fans and athletes who worry that the tournaments are too close together, which can elicit injury and possibly sickness. Other major tournaments like Indian Wells and the Miami Open have been cancelled as well.
Many fans are disappointed and even worried, not only for the tournaments, but for their favorite players. Each passing year means a year their stars get older, and a year for their abilities to decline as age plays a critical factor in stamina and strength in tennis. However, the tennis stars themselves are optimistic about the future and their return to the courts. Simona Halep, last year’s Wimbledon Champion of Women’s Singles, assured fans that the cancellation only means that she has “even longer to look forward to defending my title” as she posted on social media. Roger Federer, one of the most revered grass court and Wimbledon champions, has also been progressive about the tennis cancellations. He has taken time to donate to vulnerable communities in his home country of Switzerland and post videos of him practicing as well. He reached out to fans over social media to promote practicing tennis at home, setting an example by bouncing a ball on a wall as a simple exercise.
Many tennis athletes have shown support for each other and for their fans, encouraging people to stay active and find footwork and hand-eye coordination exercises at home. But all people, not just tennis fans, should find ways to stay physically active during quarantine to maintain mental and physical health and to ensure that they’re ready for when sports reopen.
By Jessica Jiang