Boris Becker fears that when the long tennis COVID-19 virus lockdown finally ends, it will be the ATP young guns who will have paid the price.
The six-time Grand Slam winner and German tennis wise man told Reuters of his worries as the Tours await a decision on the fate of the US Open, officially set to begin on August 31.
While painful deliberations play out behind closed doors about how to best insulate players inside a controversial New York tennis bubble, Becker is already concentrating on issues for the future.
“If the year is lost, I don’t think it’s bad for (Roger) Federer (out anyway due to a second knee procedure this month) or Serena (Williams).
“They haven’t really abused their bodies for another year, in a way they have gained a year,” Becker said.
“I think it is good for (two-time hip surgery patient) Andy Murray because it gives him more time to come back and get physically ready for 2021.”
Tennis has been shut down since early March when the first stirrings of the virus began to be felt worldwide and cannot return until at least August 1.
“I think it (the pause) benefits more (Novak) Djokovic, (Rafa) Nadal and Federer because they know how good they are, they know what to do, and I don’t think we are going to see a change of form from them.”
Becker added his support for more collaboration between the ATP and WTA Tours, coming down heavily in favour of more combined events on the tournament calendars..
“Men and women events over 10 days would be the ideal scenario moving forward. We have too many tennis tournaments week in week out.
“Sometimes we have two or three in the same week in different countries which I don’t think is right
“Obviously the smaller tournaments will have a hard time to survive in the current crisis. And who knows where they are going to be put back next year.
“I hope the governing bodies and big tournaments, the Masters Series on both sides, that they really come together and find a formula which is good for the game.”
The former coach of Novak Djokovic said that if the US Open and the rescheduled Roland Garros event do not come off, then tennis is finished for this season.