Tennis too has had to deal with the serious consequences of the global pandemic. After the six months of suspension of both circuits, most of the tournaments were organized without the public being able to be present. Roland Garros managed to host 1000 spectators a day, a paltry figure compared to the usual standards of the second seasonal Grand Slam.
Thanks to the strict measures imposed by the government, the Australian Open aims to reach a capacity of 50% for the Happy Slam, which will take place in just under a month to allow all players to carry out the two weeks of mandatory quarantine.
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal adjusted quite well to the new atmosphere created by the empty arenas, while Roger Federer missed most of last season due to a double surgery on his right knee. The 20-time Grand Slam champion has also decided to forgo the Australian Open 2021, thus skipping the Australian away game for the first time in the last 23 editions.
Speaking in the latest edition of 'The Epic Show', doubles specialist Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi analyzed how audiences play a significant role in tennis and sport in general.
Qureshi on the Big 3
"There are 140 countries involved in tennis.
Tennis would probably be the last sport to be revived this year. Organizers of top tournaments like the Australian Open, French Open, US Open and Wimbledon earn a major chunk of their revenue from the spectators. I do not think we can play tennis without any fans," Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi said.
The 2010 US Open Men's Doubles finalist then echoed Roger Federer's views and said that playing without fans would be challenging. "I have seen the interviews of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, and these players get their energy from the live fans," he added.
For 2021 Australian Open, there are already a lot of hurdles that the players will have to go through. Due to the emergence of the new COVID-19 strain, players and their teams will have to be under strict quarantine for 14 days before playing.
Players will be allowed to train for a few hours but under supervision. For Rafael Nadal, this is a tough call. Already, the player entourage is limited. And with his family not expected to travel, Nadal has lost an important problem solver from his team. It’ll be interesting to see how he performs without his head coach Carlos Moya.