We’re playing a bit of a waiting game at the moment because there isn’t a lot else to play!
Football around the world has come to a standstill, there is little or no cricket and the PGA has been temporarily shelved until the coronavirus blows over. So it’s little surprise that the ATP Tour 2020 is on hold, for a few weeks at least.
The global elite professional circuit draws in tens of thousands of fans wherever it goes and millions of viewers tune in worldwide, particularly to the Grand Slams. The tremendous trio of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are still at the top of their game, but there are plenty of up and coming challengers working day and night to depose the three kings of the sport.
A time to pull together
But the elder statesmen of tennis have a little more time to fine-tune their bodies and recover from any niggles as the French Open has been put back to September. The ATP and WTA released a joint statement, which reads: “After careful consideration, and due to the continuing outbreak of COVID-19, all tournaments in the Spring clay-court swing will not be held as scheduled.
“The professional tennis season is now suspended through to 7th June 2020. At this time, tournaments taking place from 8th June onwards are planning to go ahead as per the published schedule.” The ATP insists the challenges presented by the pandemic to professional tennis demand greater collaboration than ever from everyone in the tennis community.
The statement concludes: “Now is not a time to act unilaterally but in unison.”
The Grand Slam story so far
The 2020 tour got underway in Australia; but let’s take a quick look back at 2019, a year dominated by Djokovic and Nadal. The Serb beat Nadal in the Australian Open before the powerful Spaniard triumphed, as usual, on clay at the French Open where he beat Dominic Thiem in the Roland Garros final.
There were many tears shed at Wimbledon, mainly in the crowd, where Djokovic won an epic final clash with fans’ favourite Roger Federer; and then Nadal ended the season as number one, beating 6ft 6in Russian Daniil Medvedev.
When we get moving again later this year, the ATP Tour 2020 updates will keep coming thick and fast as news rolls in, but one of the Grand Slams is already done and dusted.
Novak Djokovic won the Australian Open in January, beating Dominic Thiem in a five-set final which means the Serbian has returned to the top of the ATP rankings. In a pulsating finale at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena, the 32-year-old claimed his 17th career grand slam title at the end of five sets, winning 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3 and 6-4.
The French Open has been postponed to September in a spectacular fait acomplis on the part of our Gallic friends. The French Tennis Federation announced that they would play their tournament six days after the end of the US Open, which finishes on 13th September. So, days after 700,000 fans flood into the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York, all eyes will turn to the clay-court spectacular in France.
But what of Wimbledon? The world’s best tennis stars descend on SW19 every year for one of England’s best-loved sporting events, alongside the Grand National, the FA Cup and Ashes cricket. But this year’s tournament is under threat.
Djokovic and women’s champion Simona Halep hope to defend their singles titles when Wimbledon is due to start on Monday, June 29th, running through to the men’s singles final on July 12th.
It’s a fast-moving situation so keep watching here and let’s hope we’re all scoffing strawberries and cream in June.
In the meantime, the three players who have dominated the ATP Tour for over a decade, Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are sitting at One, Two and Four in the rankings with 26-year-old Thiem crashing the thirtysomethings party in third place.
As soon as the sports world starts turning again we’ll be back with the latest updates and ATP Tour 2020 news right here at SBOTOP.
But while we wait there’s plenty to keep us occupied. Rafa Nadal, who’s a Real Madrid fan, can watch a few re-runs of Los Blancos’ recent win in El Clasico!
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