Tennis gets going again. Groping, improvising a little and adapting to the extraordinary nature of the moment, but he starts again, with the first appointments in Delray Beach, Antalya and Abu Dhabi. More or less ten months after the cancellation of the Indian Wells tournament due to the pandemic that put the locks on the ATP and WTA circuits, an attempt is being made to resume activity.
The hope is that we can return to a sort of normality starting from the European clay court season in April, the culmination of which - traditionally - is Roland Garros in Paris. There is no lack of questions, and they are not all related to the health emergency.
Will Dominic Thiem be able to confirm himself as the winner of a Grand Slam? Will there be room, always in the "major" context, for new conquerors? What will become of such holy monsters as Roger Federer and Andy Murray? When does the Basel come back? In a long interview with La Stampa, Matteo Berrettini drew an analogy between the Big 3 of men's tennis - Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic - and basketball athletes.
Berrettini on Roger Federer's return
The 24-year-old Matteo Berrettini recently signed with LSJ Sports, the agency headed by former World No. 3 Ivan Ljubicic. The Italian talked about the work of Ljubicic in particular, explaining how the Croat has given him confidence in his own abilities.
"He is a great professional and an excellent person. He believes in me, as per him I can become one of the strongest Italians ever," Berrettini said about his move. Besides leading LSJ Sports, Ivan Ljubicic is also the coach of 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer.
"I know he (Federer) is training, I think he will be back as soon as possible. And he has shown many times that when he comes back, it is as if he had never stopped," Berrettini stated. The organizers of the Australian Open have decided to use ‘hawk-eye’ technology for line calls at the upcoming Grand Slam.
There was a discussion going on whether to replace the on-court officials with the technology, especially on the non-clay tournaments. After the mishap at the US Open, even Novak Djokovic had advocated for the same thing. The decision to use technology instead of referees is not exactly new.
In the tournaments that took place post the long break, there was a reduction in the number of referees on the court to avoid infections. This happened at the US Open, Cincinnati Masters, and even at the Masters Cup 2020.