These unusual times continue and look set to continue for a while especially in the tennis world which is played worldwide week in week out.
In this latest version of The Overrule I’ll look at what players are up to during this break in the sport and lockdown from socialising and also an update on the calendar and what is set to happen next.
Serena vs Serena
Serena Williams has been busy in lockdown and has even taken to TicTok with husband Alexis but this video was all about Serena against Serena…
Restrictions slowly being lifted
Restrictions across Europe are slowing being lifted. Petra Kvitova and Dominic Thiem have both posted photos on social media over the last few days of them back on a tennis court:
Andy Murray & Kiki Bertens win VirtualPro Madrid Open
VirtualPro Madrid Open has a winner and it is Andy Murray.
It was an interesting few days of tennis. Gael Monfils had to pull out less than 24 hours before due to a conflicting interest in streaming platforms.
There were game issues with some points being ‘won’ but it not registering. Dominic Thiem and Karen Khachanov were effectively kicked out due to their internet connections and lost all their group stage matches 3-0.
Sorana Cirstea and Fiona Ferro made big impact on the women’s draw but it was the actual 2019 Madrid champion Kiki Bertens who won the women’s event.
Andy’s participation throughout was soo much fun. He fist pumped, grunted and commentated on his matches whilst playing along!
Andy has also announced that he will donate all of the prize money split between the NHS and the Player Relief Fund.
Mario Tennis to raise money for charity!
Serena, Venus, Maria Sharapova, Madison Keys, Kei Nishikori, Naomi Osaka and Kevin Anderson are the tennis players taking part in the Mario Tennis StayAtHomeSlam.
Money will be raised for the Covid-19 relief fund!
Serena and Venus supermarket sweep!
Venus and Serena went live with Naomi Campbell on her YouTube last week and it was fascinating interview into the two players careers amongst other topics.
One topic that cropped up was first doubles title.
The two played in 1998 in Oklahoma City. They loved watching Supermarket Sweep and played as it was sponsored by a supermarket.
If you won the tournament you got to do a supermarket sweep shot and fill the basket with goods which would then be donated to a food bank.
You can read more below:
The ATP and WTA are not set to make a decision on the summer until 1st of June giving the tournaments due to begin in mid-July that important six weeks schedule to prepare.
Obviously the tours have announced the Player Relief Fund to help those lower down the rankings who really on the tour as their only source of income.
They has been no communication from the ATP or WTA but events in Switzerland (Lausanne and Gstaad) will not take place. Swiss government has banned all events over 1000 people until the end of August. It is a possibility to play behind closed doors but it is understood that has been ruled out.
You can see the calendar below, Lausanne and Gstaad have been highlighted. Only the Olympics and Montreal have been cancelled so far. The ATP Rogers Cup is set to go ahead still but is likely to be cancelled as well. Montreal has only been cancelled as Quebec government have cancelled all events until the end of August.
There is really no more news yet, ATP Hamburg the week beginning 13th of July are looking at moving the event and is expected to hope to play around 14th of September before Roland Garros which is still set to clash with nine events. The Laver Cup has already moved to 2021 not due to Coronavirus but a conflict on the calendar (RG).
US Open? It is on everyones lips. If it doesn’t happen at the end of August it won’t happen. Suggestions have been made it could move to Indian Wells… Indian Wells has temperatures around 40 degree heat in August/September… not too sure on that happening, the USTA have also now ruled out a move to another venue.
USTA are hoping it goes ahead, the site is currently being used as an overflow hospital. We know the major issues in America at the moment with over 1,000,000 cases and over 63,000 fatalities but restrictions are being lifted. As a duty of care I cannot see this going ahead.
In a statement they are planning ahead as usual in the hope of providing a full event with fans and players.