Tim Henman warns that preparation for the upcoming COVID edition of the Australian Open will not be easy for players no matter what their ranking or status.
The former British great who serves on the Wimbledon committee told Tennis.com of his fears for the Grand Slam which will begin three weeks late on February 8 due to the virus crisis and the locked-down status of Australia.
“Everything is more complicated, since you have to do a 14-day quarantine,” the former Wimbledon semi-finalist said.
“Physically that’s very hard. It’s unusual to be isolated in a (hotel) room for (two) weeks – much more (difficult) when you are an elite athlete.
“(If it were him) I don’t know how I could use my time to be able to keep myself (strong) physically and mentally.
“But once those (mandatory) two weeks have passed, you will return to a normal life and therefore you will begin again to prepare for the first Grand Slam of the season. “
The Briton who declined to return to Australia and captain the British side in what will be an abbreviated ATP Cup in Melbourne during the first week of February, gave credit to officials for managing to pull together the first major of 2021 amid COVID restrictions.
“If you look back nine months, I think tennis has done a fantastic job.
“It was a bit of a task, given the large number of players involved and the way this calendar works, (the fact that) that you have to be every week flying around the world.
“I think it’s been a success as the second leg of (2020) developed. Now everyone is looking at 2021 and more specifically Australia.
“We are moving in the right direction although there are still many obstacles that must overcome “.