Tennis made global headlines outside the sports page, but not for the most ideal of reasons.
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic revealed today that both he and his wife Jelena tested positive for the coronavirus after their participation at the recent Adria Tour exhibition event. This is the same event where Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric, Viktor Troicki and his pregnant wife, and several others have also tested positive for the virus.
That was the final sentence said at today’s press conference announcing that the US Open will indeed be held on its scheduled dates of August 24 – September 13, 2020. In addition, today saw both the ATP, WTA, and ITF announce a revised schedule of their events, including Roland Garros (French Open) later this year. The news-filled day showcased that many in professional tennis are trying to salvage the 2020 season, even if not everyone agrees on how it should be done, or even if it should be done at all.
One only had to look to Canada, specifically the Canadian Open, in determining who would enjoy success at this year’s US Open. That, and also pay attention to the summer hard court swing that featured one player showing up in every single final. This year’s final major in New York saw several breakthrough performances, but it also highlighted that the pro game on both tours is undergoing a major shift from the current hierarchy of stars to the future.
The 2018 US Open is in the history books now. Though the 50th version of the event since the Open era began touted the word history a lot, this event will certainly be remembered, but likely for all the wrong reasons.
The “Sunshine Double” better known as the Indian Wells and Miami tournaments over the last few weeks certainly provided enough compelling storylines and surprise champions. Whether the results in the desert and in South Florida translate into long-term trends for the rest of the season is still very unclear, but it certainly proved that the ATP and WTA – though joined together at these combined events – are on different paths – at least when it comes to dealing with the lack of a dominant player or group of players week in and week out.