No fireworks for Wimbledon

The 4th July, American Independence Day, is very different this year, and with no Championships at Wimbledon due to the coronavirus pandemic, there will be no fireworks and fans must get their tennis fix virtually.

Zverev could be banned

It has been asked on many an occasion over the past few weeks – what punishment will be handed down on those who break the Covid-19 safety regulations at a tournament?

US and French Opens to allow spectators

The decision by the USTA and FFT to allow a limited number of spectators to their respective events comes as a bit of a surprise bearing in mind the disastrous Adria Tour mini-series where the Covid-19 spiked followed the disregard of safety protocols.

Wimbledon strawberries for NHS birthday celebrations

Ahead of the NHS’s 72nd birthday celebrations, the AELTC is saying thank you with a donation of 200 punnets of Wimbledon strawberries per day to NHS staff and frontline workers in London.

The men play for Wimbledon’s pineapple

They make their appearances over the final weekend of The Championships and are highly prized - the five Wimbledon Trophies, one of which proudly displays an unlikely pineapple on the top - but, sadly, will not be on show this year.

Serbian Prime Minister, Gomez and Tipsarevic enter the debate

The fall out of the Adria Tour continues as many struggle to find someone to lay the blame on. In the main that someone is Novak Djokovic who led the campaign for this mini circuit and as it has been repeatedly said, his intentions were good and it had the backing of...

Watson joins Progress Tour Women’s Championships field

Heather Watson has accepted a wildcard and will compete alongside GB Fed Cup teammates Harriet Dart and Katie Boulter at next month’s £30,000 Progress Tour Women’s Championships at the National Tennis Centre.

Wimbledon’s green grass of home

The courts at Wimbledon are lush and green but absent are the world’s best players, who should be completing the first round of matches today had The Championships not been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s the ‘doughnut’ versus the ‘rat’

Nick Kyrgios and Boris Becker have got themselves embroiled in a major bust-up over Alexander Zverev’s recent escapade, namely caught on video partying after the cancellation of the Adria Tour which left a number of players and staff testing positive for the Covid-19...

Murray Trophy – Glasgow 2020 postponed

The Murray Trophy, an ATP Challenger tournament scheduled for 13-20 September at the Scotstoun Leisure Centre in Glasgow, has been postponed until 2021 due to the enforced suspension of professional tennis because of the Coronavirus pandemic, and the subsequent...
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Lopez calls for unity to protect the tours

Feliciano Lopez, the Spanish veteran who won both the singles and doubles titles at Queen’s Club’s Fever Tree Championships 12 months ago – the latter in partnership with Andy Murray – has voiced a major concern which players and organisers will have to face up to over the coming months if not years.

I think we have to start playing as soon as possible because it will be of benefit for the majority of the tour Feliciano Lopez

“We have to understand that tennis is not going to be the same, at least for one, two, three years. I don’t know how long,” Lopez, who is also the tournament director of the Madrid Open which he still hopes will be played in September, said.

He continued that even if the sport returns to some normality, prizemoney and sponsorship will be reduced thanks to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the coffers of those who are financing the sport.

“The companies and the sponsors, they might have to fire employees,” the 38-year-old Lopez was quoted as saying by the BBC.

“This is happening everywhere in the world so the first thing they cut is sponsorship, and this is going to be affecting tennis massively.

“We need to survive this moment and we need to be united.

“The players need to understand that it’s going to be a significant reduction in the prize money.

“I see now the scenario where tournaments will survive with a significant reduction in prize money – not only for this year, but also for (the) 2021 season.

“In Madrid for example, we are working on this plan that there is going to be a reduction in the prizemoney, if you can have the tournament with some people in the stands or if you don’t have any spectators at all.”

No professional tournaments have been held on either the ATP or WTA tours since March following the shutdown to fight the pandemic.

The current easing of the restrictions could see the tours returning in August and a decision on the US Open is expected this week with the deliberations on its staging allegedly starting today.

Lopez, who is still active on the tour as a player ranked 61, believes the US Open will go ahead despite the reservations of some of the top players, including his compatriot Rafa Nadal, the defending champion, who says he is reluctant to travel whilst the virus is still at large, a fear which is also expressed by the women’s world number one Ashleigh Barty.

The men’s number one, Novak Djokovic desn’t like the safety restrictions which the USTA are imposing on participants while Roger Federer has opted out of the tour for the rest of the year following another knee operation.

“I think the US Open know there might be many players that don’t want to go and play there,” Lopez admitted.
“This is very personal. Myself I will go and play. I will take the risk, if there is any. I think the majority of players would do the same.

“But I think Stacey Allaster (appointed last week as Tournament Director and the first female to do the job) said they are confident that the situation will get better and they will be able to allow more people in the stadium in two months, when the US Open is going to be played (Aug 31 – Sep 13).

“But I think the US Open is not depending on only the top players playing. My personal opinion is that they are planning to have the event thinking that some of the top players – I don’t know how many – might not play.

“I think we have to start playing as soon as possible because it will be of benefit for the majority of the tour.”



1 Comment

  1. Kerry Grace

    At last, a tennis player who is talking a bit of common sense. Hallelujah!!! After the deeply over-dramatic views of Judy Murray wanting to scrap the whole 2020 season, the hypocrisy of Novak Djokovic refusing to go to New York as he doesn’t feel safe, while at the same time running a Balkans tournament where the stands are packed with people squashed in together and players embracing each other and the sheer lunacy of Nick Kyrgios refusing to play because of the BLM marches (remember the London bombings when tennis still went on and we all said that terror wouldn’t defeat us?), it’s nice to know that there are still some rational, balanced thinking people in tennis. Thanks, Fili for restoring my belief in tennis players somewhat..


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