Former world No. 5 Kevin Anderson thinks that navigating the coronavirus and trying to host as many events as possible this year will be the biggest challenge for this season. Last year, the ATP suspended the season mid-March and restarted it in late-August.
Last week, ATP events in Delray Beach and Antalya marked the beginning of the new season. In late-January, two ATP events are scheduled to kick off in Melbourne, while the ATP Cup is scheduled to start in early-January.
The Australian Open, which usually kicks off mid-January, is scheduled to start this season on February 8. "Navigating the virus and trying to put as much tennis on the calendar as possible is going to be, I think, the biggest challenge," Anderson told Tennis Majors.
"We only really have a calendar through Miami. You know, it’s a big waiting game. Some tournaments had to cancel, obviously, most notably Indian Wells. They’re potentially trying to postpone it. I mean, who knows when or how that’s even possible.
So that’s going to be the biggest challenge and then secondary, we’ve obviously got a lot of other things we’re working on. There is new (ATP) management and they are trying to put in different plans and working towards their version of improvements and changes they want to make to the sport, so I guess that’s going on in the background as well”.
Anderson talks the stress players face this season
In order to travel to another country and perform at a tournament, players need to have a negative COVID-19 test. If a player tests positive, he misses tournament and goes into quarantine.
"I think probably the most stressful thing is a lot of this is out of your control," Anderson said. "And if you do test positive, you’re going to be quarantined, you’re not going to be able to play and no matter how safe you are yourself, there’s always a little bit of that unknown element.
So that part’s a little bit tough to deal with, especially, we’re not in a contained bubble the whole time we are travelling. You know a lot of these tournaments that we are playing, it’s not… I mean, they’re doing a good job with a lot of safety protocols, but it’s by no means a complete and isolated bubble, which is obviously very hard to pull off logistically”. Anderson, now ranked at No. 82 in the world, didn't play in either Delray Beach or Antalya.