The impact of coronavirus on daily lives, let alone sport, has been massive all around the world and in these unprecedented times, it is slowly emerging that some involved in professional tennis have contracted COVID-19, while others have been tested and proven negative.
It was so bad. I was sick for 10 days. The symptoms changed so fast. I had a fever for six or seven days, body aches, sore throat, lost the sense of smell, an ear ache. Every day was a new thing. I had some breathing issues so I went to the hospital. I'm over it now. Luiz Carvalho, ATP and WTA Tournament Director
The latest to suspect he had contracted the virus is Brazilian Luiz Carvalho, the 38-year old Tournament Director of the Rio Open, Chengdu and Shenzen events, who isolated himself at home in March and has since recovered.
“It was so bad,” Carvalho told Tennis.com. “I was sick for 10 days.
“The symptoms changed so fast. I had a fever for six or seven days, body aches, sore throat, lost the sense of smell, an ear ache.
“Every day was a new thing. I had some breathing issues so I went to the hospital. I’m over it now.”
Although both the ATP and WTA Tours were suspended in mid-March until at least 13 July due to the pandemic, two of Carvalho’s three events, the ATP Rio de Janeiro and WTA Shenzhen had already taken place earlier in the year, with the Chengdu Open still scheduled to take place from 28 September – 4 October.
The French Open was postponed until 20 September and due to run though to 4 October, but Carvalho says plans for Chengdu are still ongoing despite the clash.
“The ATP and WTA, in their own ways, are working on different types of schedules,” Carvalho said. “We have weekly calls to discuss it.
“Basically we are going to see what the options are.”
Another Brazilian, Thiago Seyboth Wild, was the first pro tennis player to confirm that he had tested positive for coronavirus and was at home recovering in self-isolation following the diagnoses.
The 20-year-old Next Generation star, who won his maiden ATP Tour title at the Chile Open at the start of March, made the revelation via social media.
In a video uploaded to his Twitter account, Seyboth Wild said he is ‘following doctor’s orders’ and pleaded for the public to stay safe and follow the rules.
“Hey guys. I just wanted to let you know that I’ve contracted the COVID-19 but I’ve self-isolated myself for the past week. And I’ve been taking care of myself and following the doctor’s instructions.” Seyboth Wild said.
In a separate video, where he addressed fans in Portuguese, Seyboth Wild said he had contracted a cold and fever, and then underwent a test for Covid-19, which turned out to be positive, adding that he is feeling better and stressing how serious the illness can be.
According to the nation’s health ministry, there have been 115,953 confirmed coronavirus cases in Brazil resulting in 7,958 deaths, while 48,221 patients have fully recovered since the start of the outbreak.
Andy Murray has also said he displayed coronavirus symptoms in March, but is now fully recovered and ready ahead of a potential return at the French Open in September.
“I was a little bit sick for two or three days about four weeks ago,” he told CNN’s Christina Macfarlane in late April but remains in the dark as to whether he was a carrier.
“So actually, before the beginning of when the quarantine started, I was sort of isolating for probably four or five days before that.
“Most people I’ve spoken to have had some sort of symptoms and felt a little bit sick, but it’s quite difficult to know whether you have actually had the virus or not.
“And obviously, the test should be saved for people that are in severe situations and the frontline NHS workers in this country.”
Murray was not in action at the curtain-raiser Australian Open tournament in January, with a pelvic bone-bruise preventing him from getting his season underway.
He hinted at the possibility of a third operation on his right hip during a media briefing in February but was well on the mend by the time professional tennis was put on hold in early March, and was targeting a return at the Miami Open later that month.
“I was training to get ready for that and that was going to be a good test. I was fit and feeling pretty strong,” he said
When asked if he is planning to compete in the French Open, Murray said: “I would definitely play on the clay if it goes ahead. I’m a bit sceptical whether it will.
“I would imagine tennis would be one of the last sports to get back to normality, because you’ve obviously got players and coaches and teams coming from all over the world into one area.
“I would be surprised if they were back playing sport by September-time.”
With Wimbledon and the grass court season already cancelled, hopes of the US Open going ahead in September are fading as the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center plays host to a temporary hospital and commissary to help New York deal with the pandemic.
Immediate USTA President and CEO Katrina Adams overcame coronavirus and hopes to help others affected by the virus by donating her plasma.
Writing on Instagram, Adams, who lives in New York, said: “As I reflect on the meaning of #Easter and the resurrection of Christ, I think about what has transpired in the world of #COVID19.
“Many of my friends/acquaintances have lost loved ones…I was lucky. I was infected early in March, before the NY numbers skyrocketed and panic arose.
“I had minor symptoms, body aches and an undetected fever that broke during the night. I tested positive and didn’t really suffer.
“The brighter side is that I then became a candidate to donate my plasma to save the lives of others, as my antibodies are extremely high.
“I was infected for a reason and this photo reminds me that good will come from my misfortune.”
Fellow New Yorker Patrick McEnroe also recovered from COVID-19 and said he was lucky that his symptoms never became severe.
On 31 March, the former French Open doubles champion announced that he had tested positive for the coronavirus and had quarantined himself in the basement of his home shortly after experiencing the first symptoms.
He revealed it took him 7 days to get a test, which proved positive, as he experienced a fever, aches and diarrhoea but luckily nothing more severe.
“I’m following all the rules about social distancing and I’m still here because the difficulty in getting another test to prove that I don’t have it – for the sake of myself and my family – means I’m on another list,” McEnroe told Sky Sports in mid April.
“My wife has been amazing. My three kids are also doing well. They started online schooling about three weeks ago, so they’re keeping busy.
“Netflix parties have sort of become the new norm.”
As players take tentative steps back onto court as lockdown restrictions are slowly lifted, Rafael Nadal remains sceptical about the prospect of the ATP Tour returning in 2020, and is already thinking ahead to next year’s Australian Open.
“I hope we can return before the end of the year but unfortunately, I don’t think so,” Nadal said in the Spanish newspaper, El Pais.
“I would sign up to being ready for 2021.
“I’m more worried about the Australian Open than what occurs at the end of this year. I think 2020 is practically lost.
“I hope we can start up again next year, I really hope that’s the case.
“My feeling and I say it sadly, I won’t lie to you, is that we’re losing a year of our lives.
“And at 33, 34 years old, that is more valuable than at 20 when you have a lot more ahead.”