Tiley and Mauresmo: Tough for tennis to come back in 2020

andrewhendrie in News 03 Apr 2020
When will tennis resume?
Amelie Mauresmo thinks tennis has to be cancelled for all of 2020 (LionelUrman/Panoramic)

Former World No. 1 Amelie Mauresmo and Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley are among those who think tennis will be cancelled for the rest of 2020.

When will tennis resume?

That’s the million dollar question amid the growing COVID-19 crisis engulfing the world, and leading figures in the tennis community aren’t holding out hope for the sport returning this year.

Read more: Latest tennis news

Mauresmo, the first ever Frenchwoman to rank No. 1 in the Open Era, took to Twitter to share her thoughts.

Translated from French, Mauresmo says:

“I think we’re going to have to draw a line under the 2020 tennis season. International circuit = players of all nationalities plus management, spectators and people from the 4 corners of the world who bring these events to life. No vaccine = no tennis.”

Naturally, tennis authorities and tournaments across the world won’t share similar sentiments as the sport and individual events stand to lose enormous amounts of revenue if the sport doesn’t return until 2021.

However, due to the global nature of tennis and the fact players and their teams need to travel from week to week, it makes tennis – as we know it – seemingly impossible to stage in the current climate of countries around the world in lockdown.

Tiley, the popular Australian Open tournament director, says tennis should ‘plan for the worst and hope for the best’.

Craig Tiley (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)

“My personal view is I think for tennis to come back this year is going to be tough,” Tiley told The Sydney Morning Herald.

“It relies on global travel, and I think that’s probably the last thing that’s going to come back. I think sports that have a domestic focus are in a strong position and sports that have a global focus are more challenged.”

Wimbledon was cancelled for the first time since World War Two this week, while all ATP and WTA events have been postponed until at least July 13.

The Tokyo Olympics have also been suspended until the summer of 2021.

The U.S. Open is hoping to go ahead as originally scheduled from late August to early September, while Roland Garros controversially pushed back their clay-court slam until September 20 – just one week after the U.S. Open is set to finish.

“We’ve got to plan for the worst and hope for the best,” Tiley added. “Tomorrow morning we wake up and there is some miracle cure or some concoction of drugs that really helps, or they’re on a path to a vaccine. From all the literature you read, it doesn’t seem likely in the immediate future.

“(When) you can travel globally is when tennis can come back, from a pro level. From a local level, we can start right away and that’s what we would be focused on at the beginning.”