Novak Djokovic, sheltering at home in Monte Carlo with wife Jelena and the couple’s two children, has delivered a message of hope to fans as the COVID-19 virus spreads.
“I pray for the health and cure of all. Hopefully God can cure the disease, be it physical, mental or spiritual, the world No. 1 Serb said on social media.
“I hope it gives you health, energy and joy today.
“These are difficult times for everyone. I send my support and prayers. Please stay home during quarantine and help medical personnel assist all infected and needy people. Let us not put up barriers in these critical times that they are living.”
Djokovic, whose spiritual side has never been far from the surface, added:
“We live a high-paced modern life. We are constantly passing through, we  seldom stop and contemplate our lives. We have become addicted to the idea that we always need to be somewhere doing something productive.
“I am in favor of being productive and productive, but in harmony, peace and deep understanding with our true essence. We cannot be healthy if our world is not healthy. It is time to be all together and united.”
Djokovic’s message advised fans to “spend quality time with our family at home, enjoying the little things in life. Let’s try to laugh, love and spend time on inner work. Let us pray, meditate, eat healthy, play music, sing, dance, write, train, sleep well, work our brain with good thoughts, … It is a good opportunity to do so.
“We need to work in depth and regenerate each level of our being. Only in this way will we be able to emit our vibrations and help Mother Earth heal faster.
“We are all one. We all live in the same world. Please treat people and nature as you would like to be treated. God bless you all. We will come out stronger and more united. I’m sure.”
Djokovic will have plenty of time to practice his own advise, with all of tennis shut down until at least June 8.

Meanwhile Rafael Nadal is having to consider a tough call  regarding the defence of his 2019 titles at both Roland Garros and the US Open when tennis gets back on track in the coming months,

With the Open in New York so far still set for its regular August-September dates and the hastily and unilaterally re-set French Open now to be played starting September 20, there is only one week between the end of one and the start of the other.

Rafa Nadal (ESP) holder of the US Open title. Photo Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd

The unprecedented scheduling due to the COVID-19 outbreak around the world could press Spain’s world No. 2 king of clay to the limit between the two Grand Slams.

Former Swiss player Marc Rosset, a television commentator for his country’s French language network, believes the 33-year-old will pick the clay over the American hardcourts if push comes to shove

Nadal owns a record 12 titles in Paris and bases his entire year around the clay-court major in the now-locked down French capital.

Rafa Nadal (ESP) wins a record 12th French Open Singles title Photo Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd

“We can wonder if a player like Rafael Nadal will remove the US Open from his calendar and focus on clay,” Rosset said on the RTS network. “Roland Garros is a tournament that is close to his heart.”

Feliciano Lopez, new tournament director of the now virus-cancelled Madrid Masters in May, called the current chaos caused by the virus “an emergency situation.”

The current player who has assumed a double role in the sport, told Spin’s AS newspaper:

“If it finally turns out that way (Paris being played in September),  I imagine that tennis players will want to play and few people will skip (Roland Garros).


Wimbledon 2019 D3 03/07/2019
Feliciano Lopez (ESP) in second round match
Photo Anne Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd

“This change of surface has usually happened to us with Davis Cup, who went from one surface to another in less than five days.

“Even at Wimbledon, now there are three weeks away from Roland Garros, but before it was two and you went straight from clay to grass.”