Covid-19 Isn’t Done Wrecking Havoc in Tennis
By: Max Cao
After November of 2021, many sports marked Covid-19 as only a memory. The virus stayed with tennis for a lot longer; eight more hard months of cancelling games, spectator-free events, and constant Covid testing. Tennis wants to move past Covid like other sports, but the virus isn’t letting that happen.
Unlike other sports that put health and medical issues to keep their pockets full, tennis has had to reflect where society at large has been at every stage of the pandemic. Unlike basketball or football, most major tennis tournaments are international. That requires vaccines, quarantine, and the other Covid-related rules the host country might have. Most major organizers canceled or delayed everything in the spring and early summer of 2020.
The 2020 U.S. Open took place on schedule in late summer without spectators. It was like going to a party you’ve wanted to go to for the whole year, yet finding it deserted. A rescheduled French Open followed in the chill of a Paris fall with just a few hundred fans allowed. Both events were usually filled with people.
“So many rules,” Rafael Nadal, a world famous tennis player said, “For some people some rules are fine; for the others rules are not fine. If there are some rules, we need to follow the rules. If not, the world is a mess.”
Ajla Tomljanovic, a tennis player from Australia, whose country had some of the strictest Covid controls, said she remained careful not to get the virus, especially at more crowded events, but she had reached the point where she needed to find a balance between safety and sanity. “I just try to take care of myself as much as I can where I’m still not completely isolating myself, where it’s not fun to live,” said Tomljanovic.
Other sports within individual countries may have gotten over Covid. Tennis players and organizations yearn to get back to normal too, yet even in the past months, tennis was forced to postpone and cancel games. Covid-19 is not done with tennis.
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