The trend to playing events behind closed doors to provide players with some matches whilst the tours are suspended, is growing, with Britain joining Germany’s Tennis Point Exhibition and the Ultimate Tennis Showdown in France, both events due to take place in May.
I’d very much like to play, it’s a very good idea Cameron Norrie
The British event is being propsed by Jamie Murray to be be run over a week on a similar format as the ATP Tour Finals. This would follow a week-long series of doubles events at clubs in Surrey and London in mid-July.
All being well the singles event will be scheduled to fill the gap left by the cancellation of Wimbledon, namely late June beginning of July and could include a ‘handful of doubles teams.’
According to the Times, the hope is that the top eight British players will compete in two round robin groups of four with the final being contested by the winners of each group. All matches would be played without spectators and the players themselves would act as umpires, as well as linesmen during their own matches. Social distancing remains a paramount criteria.
The proposal has received the support of Andy Murray and the majority of the Britain’s leading players but there will be no official announcement until the Government lifts the lockdown restrictions which wouldn’t be before May 7.
As to where it will be staged, that has yet to be decided though a venue in London – like the Harbour Club or one of the David Lloyd Leisure Centres – which would suit the majority of the players who live in the capital or its environs.
The tournament would be seen as the perfect comeback for Andy Murray, who has not played since suffering a pelvic injury at last year’s Davis Cup Finals in Madrid and he is certainly expected to sign up with the likes of Dan Evans, Kyle Edmund, Cameron Norrie, Jay Clarke, Liam Broady, James Ward and Jack Draper.
Norrie, speaking on Tuesday to the Evening Standard, said he was fully behind the Murray plan, adding, “I’d very much like to play, it’s a very good idea.”