When the Indian Wells tournament was canceled on March 9th due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus emergency, many believed that this was an excessive decision. The pandemic, on the other hand, brought the whole world to its knees in the following months, also obliging Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics to give up the 2020 edition (the Games have been moved to 2021).
If there are no further complications, both tours are set to start again in August, although the situation in the United States is still far from resolved. Palermo will host the first WTA tournament, while ATP will restart from Washington, which will be the prelude to the Masters 1000 in Cincinnati and the US Open both staged in New York.
Former player Tim Henman tells Georgia Humphreys how he spends his free time and discusses the impact of Covid-19 on tennis.
Henman on the impact of pandemic
"Once that had happened, the spotlight was turning very rapidly; Wimbledon certainly looked at all the different options and it became clear that, first and foremost, cancellation was the responsible thing to do," recalls Tim Henman, 45, who retired from professional tennis in 2007.
Henman's first memory of Wimbledon is from 1981. "You look at the roofs now on Centre Court and Court One, the stadium itself, there's been a lot of change (at Wimbledon)," he notes. "But they've still kept their core values if you like - and that's what makes it special.
You've still got grass, predominantly white clothing, the royal box, all those different elements. Those 15 years I felt like I'd been preparing for it, and to get the opportunity to go out there was something I'd dreamt of."
Asked who he thinks would have won Wimbledon this year, Tim answered: "In the men's, Novak Djokovic would have been a favourite. He's number one in the world for a reason right now, and he's played in big events, he's defending champion.
It would take a great performance to beat him. The men's is a little bit more predictable, when you look at the big three of Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, whereas in the women's you could probably come up with a list of 15 or 20 players.
I think the one player who's impressed me enormously with her game and she's still very young is Bianca Andreescu, a Canadian girl who won the US Open."