Novak Djokovic has been the most prominent player in the first two months of the new season, scoring all 18 victories and lifting the trophy at the Australian Open to earn his 17th Major crown. Still, a coronavirus has left the most significant impact in the world of tennis so far in 2020, breaking out in China and spreading across the globe in the last couple of months.
Players were gathered in Indian Wells when the organizers canceled the first event due to the pandemic, with Miami closing the door soon after that before the entire clay swing in April and May had to be removed. There was a little hope to see some action on grass this year and it was done and dusted on Wednesday when Wimbledon officials eliminated the 2020 edition, together with all other ATP and WTA events on grass, extending the forced break that could last much longer if the situation with the virus doesn't improve soon, which will hardly be the case.
It is not easy to imagine any tennis for the rest of the year due to health concerns, as no one wants to risk and gather players and fans from all over the world. Before the virus started to cause troubles, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic were the dominant figures of men's tennis, claiming the last 13 Major crowns after the US Open 2016 and occupying that year-end no.
1 position in every season since 2004 expect 2016 when Andy Murray broke the spell. That could all change once they return to the court, with a chance for the younger guns to extend their pressure and challenge three rivals for the notable titles and high ranking positions.
Todd Woodbridge assumes it will be tough for Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to regain the form they had before the break, picking Novak Djokovic as the player to beat once they start all over. Still, Woodbridge is assured there's the new era of tennis raising, with the history of the game ready to be changed after this forced pause that leaves the players without their regular duties and salaries.
"For Novak Djokovic, it may come at a good time in his career to actually rejuvenate him again, give him another big burst," said Woodbridge. "So, if anything, this period helps him the most. I think from here, this will be a line in the sand in terms of records.
We had all the achievements from the amateur days, the Open era ones and the new line post-2020. It will have changed the history books in the long run when we do get back and playing again, for sure."