Even top players are feeling the shock from the sudden ATP shutdown of the spring tennis season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The knee injury recovery of Kevin Anderson is progressing well, but the South African cannot set a potential date for his return to action due to the ATP tournament cancellations which run though at least next month.
After barely touching a racquet in 2019, the former Top 10 player is wondering just when he can get back into rhythm, calling his stop-start comeback effort, “beyond difficult and frustrating.”
Anderson, now ranked 123rd, posted on social media that he is back to training after February’s knee operation: “Keeping my focus on getting stronger on court right now with my team during these uncertain times we’re having. Hope everyone stays safe.”
It’s a slightly different story for high-ranked Russian Daniil Medvedev, one of hundreds of ATP and WTA players forced last week to exit the US in a hurry when the Indian Wells Masters was called off due to the virus spread.
“I’m going back to Monaco now,” he told Russian media.
“There, if I looked correctly, there was only one confirmed case of a coronavirus, and that was before I flew away. I think it’s safe there.
“I do not influence these decisions and it is not known how long this will continue, what will happen in the world.
“So I don’t have even the slightest assumptions about this. Naturally, the most important thing is to stay healthy, this is the main priority. It all comes down to not shaking hands with anyone and washing hands more often.
“The most important thing is that all loved ones be healthy, so fewer people get this virus. Let’s hope that the situation will be better because all measures for this seem to be taken.”
Since Medvedev made the call, the situation in Europe has grown more serious, with most countries locking down their borders and ordering all non-food or medicine stores to close.
Meanwhile in Switzerland, three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka posted a picture to social media as he enjoyed a fondue – albeit with a glass of red wine on the table instead of white which the Swiss customarily drink with the cheesy speciality for digestive purposes.
“Leaving LA to head back home for a while,” he wrote after leaving Indian Wells.”
“These are weird times and we have no idea what to expect next. I hope you are all staying safe!
“I’m thinking of course a lot of all those in our world who have put months of work into events that are now cancelled and to the fans who were going to attend.
“These are hard times but we must all stay strong.”