WASHINGTON, June 9, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)
On Monday, British No. 1 Dan Evans broke his silence. Appearing on BBC Live Five Breakfast in the U.K., the outspoken Evans brushed aside World No. 1 Novak Djokovic’s concerns over players being able to have just one member of their team at the US Open as “not such a big deal.”
Last Friday, Djokovic said he thinks some of the proposed safety protocols that the US Open is exploring are “extreme” and that having only one person from his team on site with him would be “really impossible.”
Evans, who is scheduled to compete next week in the Schroders Battle of the Brits exhibition tournament at Roehampton organized by Jamie Murray, suggested during the interview that “There has to be a bit of give and take from the players. …
“Not everyone’s traveling with physios and fitness trainers like Novak said, so I think his argument there is not really valid for the rest of the draw, apart from the real top guys.”
The 30-year-old Evans, who is currently ranked No 28 in the world, is eager to to see the ATP Tour resume sooner than later. Not everyone shares his sentiment. For instance, World No. 2 Rafael Nadal said last week that he has little or no desire to travel to New York, site of the US Open, and play in front of no spectators. Nadal doesn’t think the Tour should resume tournament play until all players are able to travel freely and in a safe manner.
“It’s great what the ATP did with the Relief Fund but there’s nothing better than the prize money of the Grand Slams for the players to be receiving,” said Evans.
“This is the point where I think the players should really come together and Novak and Rafa should really be looking to help those players with lower ranks so they get a good pay day.
“It’s obviously not all about money, it’s health involved here, but if it’s safe enough I don’t think having just a coach is a good enough reason not to be going to a tournament.”
The bottom line according to Evans is simple. “There has to be a bit of give and take from the players,” he said. “There are rumors that the US Open really need this to go ahead and I think as tennis players we should give something back and get out there and play.
“There are also physical trainers at the tournament, so it is not like they will not be able to get treatment, but it would be from the ATP Tour physios.
“They are going to try and keep us in a bubble, staying at the airport hotels, there will be a lot of testing, it will be as safe as humanly possible with all the testing.
“The difficulty would be having to pull out due to testing positive to the virus and then it is very unfortunate. Hopefully, it doesn’t come to that and the tournament goes ahead successfully.”
A piece of history in Paris
A year ago at the French Open, women’s wheelchair player Diede deGroot of the Netherlands completed a career Grand Slam at Roland Garros.
— ITF (@ITF_Tennis) June 8, 2020
The Way Back Machine – French Open 2002
Serena defeats Venus 7-5, 6-3 to win the the 2002 Roland Garros women’s singles title.
— Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK) June 8, 2020
French Open: A Tribute
While the terre battue at Roland Garros in Paris reminds us of the legendary moments the French Open has provided players and fans, alike, it has also inspired artists to create posters commemorating the event for over 40 years.
The International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island, has put together a colorful digital exhibit, French Open: A Tribute, for fans to enjoy at tennisfame.com/frenchopentribute.
Tennis as art is on display every year at @rolandgarros, both on and off the court. 🎨🖌🎾
This artistry is captured annually in posters commissioned by @FFTennis. Our special digital exhibit pays tribute to 40 years of these unique works.
— Tennis Hall of Fame (@TennisHalloFame) June 3, 2020
A grass court season that might have been
Sights we’re missing 💔
This week, the grass court season would have been getting into full swing 🎾
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) June 8, 2020
What they’re saying
British player Katie Boulter on Frances Tiafoe and his “Racquets Down, Hands Up” video initiative to raise awareness toward racial injustice: “I’ve known him since juniors,” she told The Telegraph tennis correspondent Simon Briggs, “and he is one of the nicest guys out there. The thing that Frances did – I just thought that was incredible. And for all of those people to come together and for tennis to unite is very important. It (the situation in America) reminds you that there are so many bigger problems in the world than tennis. To see people putting that as their No. 1 priority right now is pretty special. I just hope that we can keep doing this and make the world a better place to live in.”
What they’re writing
Simon Briggs, tennis correspondent for London’s The Telegraph, from “Katie Boulter channels frustration at separation from grandparents by training as Age UK volunteer“:
Those of us who have spent the lockdown eating biscuits and watching Netflix can only admire British Fed Cup star Katie Boulter. Denied her summer’s goal of playing at Wimbledon, Boulter changed tack completely, and used her extra time to train as a volunteer with Age UK.
Her time on the charity’s training program was due to finish on Wednesday. Once qualified, she expects to be handed the names of three isolated pensioners – probably tennis lovers – whom she will then contact for a regular chat.
Speaking to reporters this week, Boulter said that he motivation was twofold. Firstly, she wanted to engage with “bigger problems” beyond the 200 square meters of a tennis court. But then, on a more personal level, she was also chafing at her enforced separation from her 84-year-old grandfather, Brian Gartshore – an inventor and engineer who has been a huge emotional support throughout her career.
Good chat with Katie Boulter this week who has responded to lockdown by training as a volunteer with Age UK https://t.co/uww1KFPd4H
— Simon Briggs (@simonrbriggs) June 4, 2020
What they’re sharing on social media
Ana Ivanovic / It’s always nice to remember
— Ana Ivanovic (@AnaIvanovic) June 7, 2020
Judy Murray / Rocking my new face mask
Rocking my new face mask.
Yes those are pink tennis balls. Obviously. 🤗 pic.twitter.com/Lw7xYVT5mO
— judy murray (@JudyMurray) June 6, 2020
Billie Jean King / Remembering Maria Bueno
Two years ago today, we lost the great Maria Bueno. I will always remember her elegance and athleticism. Nicknamed “The Tennis Ballerina,” Maria demonstrated true grace on court, with 3 #Wimbledon singles titles and 4 at the #USOpen.
She was a champion of the highest order. pic.twitter.com/L7eqIiABjX
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) June 8, 2020