No more tennis in 2020

Updated: Apr 04, 2020, 11:34 IST | AFP | Paris

Wimbledon chief Lewis fears the worst for the sport with SW19 called off, French Open postponed and no resumption of ATP and WTA Tours until July due to Coronavirus.

Novak Djokovic celebrates winning the Australian Open in Melbourne last month. PIC/AFP
Novak Djokovic celebrates winning the Australian Open in Melbourne last month. PIC/AFP

Djoko, biggest loser?

Before the season went into cold storage, Novak Djokovic had captured an eighth Australian Open and was on an 18-0 winning streak since the turn of the year. Talk was of Djokovic, now a 17-time Grand Slam title winner, going on to match his 2011 and 2015 seasons. In 2011, he built a 41-match win streak before ending the year with a 70-6 record and 10 titles, including the Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open crowns.

In 2015, Djokovic won the same three Slams again out of 11 titles in a win-loss record of 82-6. After taking the 79th title of his career in Dubai on the last day of February this year, he proclaimed: "One of the targets is to go unbeaten the whole season. I'm not kidding." However, with the French Open and Wimbledon respectively postponed and scrapped, has his bubble burst? "The big loser is Djokovic," ex-World No. 1 and seven-time major winner Mats Wilander told L'Equipe. "He hasn't lost this year yet, but this virus has stopped him in his tracks."

Hoping against hope

After Wimbledon was cancelled for the first time in 75 years on Wednesday, All England Club chief Richard Lewis was hoping for the best but fearing the worst. "I don't think it's unrealistic to say that there may be no more tennis this year," he said. "But I would like to think that things will settle down." The clay-court and grass-court seasons have already been binned. In all, 21 tournaments on both tours have been affected.

The worst affected

The world rankings stretch beyond the 1,200 mark where an army of under-achieving and low-paid players barely make ends meet. Currently at 1,283 in the world is Russia's Ksenia Kolesnikova, who has officially made just $68. "Players lower ranked than 250 will not be able to buy food in two-three weeks' time," warned Georgia's World No. 371 Sofia Shapatava.

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