Tennis Makes Comeback In Germany
The last week of February. Dubai Tennis Championships, Mexican Open, Chile Open were the last tournaments held on the tour. Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Thiago Seyboth Wild were the champions. The Davis Cup matches were held in the first week of March and since then no tennis. Indian Wells was the first tournament which was postponed and since then ATP, WTA and ITF have suspended tournaments till 13th July. Roland Garros is moved to September; Wimbledon is cancelled and Olympic Games is moved to 2021. The fate of rest of the tournaments till 13th July, we don’t know as of yet.
However, there’s been some light in the recent days. Tennis has returned, not as we all expect with big crowds and big players playing but still professional tennis has started in Germany. With the lightened lockdown restrictions in the country now, “Tennis Point Exhibition Series” will be held and it will be the first tennis tournament since March 12.
Tennis Point Exhibition Series
The tournament will feature eight players outside of top 100 and compete with each other in a round robin manner which will be followed by a playoff between the top 4 to decide the winner. Dustin Brown is the most renowned player in the lot. Best-of-three set matches will be played. Sets will be shortened to four games. There will be no fans, no line judges, no ball kids. Only three people will be on the court; two athletes and one referee, no handshakes, no changeovers. Not the type of tennis we are accustomed of watching but in the end huge credit to the organizers to give fans at least something to cheer in this bad time.
Rodney Rapson, managing director of Europe and UK for PlaySight, said to CNN Sport about what it has taken to get here.
"It happened really fast and we didn't think it was gonna happen if we're honest," Rapson told CNN Sport.
"We're the first ones to come back for sport in general in Europe, but that's probably because the majority of people were just waiting for the government to relax the rules before they made any plans, whereas we were planning the whole time and were just waiting for the announcement of the rules to be relaxed -- and then we had an event ready to go."
"It's been a costly undertaking to get the venue ready under the coronavirus guidelines," he says. "The government has set the guidelines and obviously tennis is already a sport that can be played under social distancing rules."
"So, the good news is that in this area the government allowed tennis to be played regardless, we didn't need a special dispensation for the pros. But that being said, we put a lot of planning into the concept of how we would run the event.