Should tennis scrap the 2020 season now and prepare for 2021?

In episode 4 of Tennis Majors’ exclusive show, Match Points, Marion Bartoli, Noah Rubin and Ben Rothenberg discuss whether tennis should call off 2020 now and start preparing for 2021 instead.

May 28, 2020

First Amelie Mauresmo said tennis will not be back to normal until there is a vaccine for the coronavirus; then it was Rafael Nadal who suggested it might be better for the ATP Tour (and probably the WTA Tour too) to accept that playing tennis again in 2020 is unlikely and so just call off the rest of the season and prepare for 2021 instead.

For episode 4 of Match Points, our three guests are former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli, the ATP world number 225 Noah Rubin (founder of Behind the Racquet) and the American tennis journalist Ben Rothenberg.

Host Josh Cohen asked our three guests a simple question: is Rafa right, should we kiss goodbye to 2020 now?

“I think we are just trying to give a hope to people and sort of say, hold on everyone, it’s not all cancelled yet, just keep your belief, don’t cancel your plans, we can still make it happen,” Bartoli said. “But I think realistically, if we want to keep health as our first priority, I don’t think it’s manageable and doable, knowing how many people need to work in a Grand Slam, from the broadcasters to the media, the players, their crews and everybody, to not keep interaction coming.”

“Let’s scrap it, and make it a better place in 2021”

Rubin was even more forthright, saying he thought it was time to take action and use that time to make changes to the sport.

“Scrap it. I think we’re wasting time. I think if you look at any medical evidence, I think we’re going to have a second round of this (virus) coming up, especially with things opening up too quickly, so why are we not using this time trying to evolve tennis?

Rubin also said tennis also has to be careful not to rush back too soon and cause additional problems.

“I’m worried because people are already saying, let’s scrap pre-season, let’s play in December and January,” he said. “I’m just worried about players getting hurt. I’m already seeing them playing too many matches, I know they need money right now… but I think it’s just going to lead into another snowball effect of players getting injured, unhappy, and no change actually happening in tennis. So let’s scrap it, see if we can evolve tennis and make it a better place in 2021.

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