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  1. #271

    Re: Covid19 & Tennis

    Masks for everybody. Masks and gloves for people that handle items that will be touched by other people (the people that stock the shelves at supermarkets, for example). Masks, gloves, facial shield for ER personnel, plus their standard CPR shield.
    For personnel in hospitals, full bio-hazard suites.
    Last edited by ponchi101; 05-12-2020 at 08:38 AM.
    Face it. It's the apocalypse.

  2. #272

    Re: Covid19 & Tennis

    COVID-19 Reveals Tennis Class War Bubbling To The Surface

    Sam Fels

    Dominic Thiem’s stance on not wanting to support players at the bottom of the rankings exposes class war among players in elite sport of tennis.
    Photo: Getty

    You’ll never believe this, but there’s classism present in professional tennis. Who could have ever guessed? It appears some players look longingly at Major League Baseball, and aim to bus-toss those players outside the very highest echelon of the sport for their own good. And as it always seems to be, those at the top who don’t want to help those below, and place the blame on those below for not being at the top. Pull yourself up by your wristbands, as bootstraps wouldn’t make a lot of sense in tennis.

    This came into clear relief when Ines Ibbou released this on YouTube, an open video letter to Dominic Thiem. Some background: Ibbou, who is from Algeria, is ranked around 600 on the WTA tour. Dominic Thiem is ranked third on the ATP tour, and has already taken home $1.7M in prize money this year.

    The impetus for all this was Novak Djokovic, current world No. 1 and president of the ATP player council, putting out a letter calling for top-ranked players to chip into a relief fund for lower-ranked players. It was a sliding scale, calling for the top-100 to help those ranks 250-700. The total would have been $4M. Djokovic might have some truly galaxy-brained and even dangerous thoughts about health and training, but certainly is aware of the struggles of those in the lower parts of the pro game. Perhaps some of this is attributed to his more modest upbringing than most tennis players in war-torn Serbia helping him with perspective.

    The ATP, WTA, ITF, and the four grand slams eventually came together to provide a $6M relief fund for players at the bottom of the rankings. But that hasn’t been met with universal approval from those within the game. Matteo Berrettini voiced his hesitance. Guido Pella, ranked No. 35, followed a similar track.

    Both were following Thiem, who has been the most outspoken against contributing to the fund. Some of Thiem’s and the others’ points are hard to argue against, that being there are more important things than tennis with which the sport’s huge wealth could assist. It’s when Thiem gets into side-swiping lower-ranked players that it becomes unseemly, and what Ibbou seeks to highlight with her video and letter.

    “None of the players are starving. [The top players] all had to fight our way up the rankings,” said Thiem in German during the online conversation. “I’ve seen players on the ITF Tour who don’t 100 percent commit to the sport. Many are quite unprofessional. I don’t see why I should give them money.’’

    There’s always been a stratification problem in the game, with those at the top able to afford the trainers, coaches, nutritionists, and however larger a team needed to keep them there. While even being in the top-100 can be a pretty nice living for a year, the costs of playing are very high. Others have pointed this out, such as Dustin Brown telling the story of living in his van in his first days as a pro.

    Players pay for their own travel, accommodation, coaching, food, and whatever else, and that can easily get up into the six figures. Those down lower on the chain can’t look forward to sponsors paying for everything. All they have is the prize money they make. Being outside the top-100 and breaking even can be challenging. The 100th ranked player on the WTA tour last year, Harriet Dart, took home $92K. With rough estimates of expenses, Dart wasn’t taking home that much, if any at all. While there’s more money on the ATP Tour (Men’s), being below the top-100 would provide the same challenges. Especially as you get deep into the hundreds, which is the group Djokovic is aiming to help.

    The prize money in tournaments in some way exacerbates this. The past Aussie Open saw those who lost in the semifinals make double what those who lost in the quarterfinals made, and that kind of disparity spread down the whole field through every round. It was basically the same at Indian Wells, a non-major but ATP 1000 event, which was cancelled due to the Coronavirus shutdown. No less than Roger Federer has called for a better apportioning of the financial pie.

    While Thiem and Berrettini certainly are not out of bounds for suggesting that there are more important causes, what Ibbou is pointing out is that lots of tennis players are struggling to just pay bills, like every other industry in the world. And sometimes it’s not about simply “wanting” it more or being better. The availability of resources for every player to improve is simply not there. While Thiem was able to grow up as the son of a coach and had access to just about the best academy in Austria, Ibbou had to essentially make her own way. This is clearly an issue that keeps tennis from being available to a wider swath of people.

    Still, given that Thiem has already banked over $1M in a season that only lasted just north of two months, along with all of his sponsorships — which include Adidas, Babolat, Kia, and Rolex — and has earned $18M in just prize money in his career, $30K to keep some players paying their bills doesn’t seem like too much to ask.,twitter
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  3. #273

    Re: Covid19 & Tennis

    Having just read that article above, I can't help but wonder if someone like Thiem ever considers how easily he could have been one of those players...say he had even slightly less natural ability, but especially with a couple of injuries at the wrong times, a slightly less supportive infrastructure (family included) when he was developing, etc. Yes, he is amazingly good, yes, he has worked very hard, but with slightly bad luck at any of a number of stages in his life, he could currently be ranked 300 and living hand-to-mouth, and we would never have heard of him. GH

  4. #274

    Re: Covid19 & Tennis

    I wonder if any top athlete ever considers those positions. The fact that no matter how much hard work you put into it, you were simply the beneficiary of incredible genetic luck.
    He should consider Schwartzman. Great player. Also recipient of great genetic luck. But if he had only grown 5 extra inches...
    Face it. It's the apocalypse.

  5. #275

    Re: Covid19 & Tennis

    Aren't we all just lucky then? Look at Ponchi... Born smarter than most, with some talent for writing too. Totally unfair.
    Roger forever

  6. #276

    Re: Covid19 & Tennis

    No. Some people are luckier. It plays a role in everything.
    Find Leonard Mlodinov's SUBLIMINAL. A quick read and an interesting book. In it, he talks about two cases: Bruce Willis and how he got his break in acting, and Stephen King, who published one novel under a pseudonym which did not sell at all. Good examples of how luck influences outcomes.
    And yes, I have to objectively say that I am lucky in the overall view of my life. And I do have a certain level of talent in writing. But, not enough. If writing was ranked, I would not be in the top 1000 writers. Not even in the top 10,000. My writing is very much like my tennis: I can every once in a while hit one shot that is not completely laughable. And every once in a while, I can produce two or three paragraphs that are not putrid. But I have tried to get published to no avail, both because I do not have the total talent needed AND, more importantly, I do no have the connections. So I write silly blogs and posts here. Which precisely gives me the little credibility to say what I said: I wonder if Nole knows how genetically-lucky he is. Lebron James. Maria Sharapova, who struck it twice in the genes department: great athletic skills, and excellent luck in the looks department.
    And don't take my word for it. Go and re-watch AMADEUS. I nearly cried/laugh at the end when Salieri blesses all the other inmates at the asylum, since he is "the patron saint of the mediocre" (paraphrase).
    (And yes, I know Amadeus is completely fiction. But a hard to beat movie when it comes to talking about GOD and Fortuna, the goddes)
    Last edited by ponchi101; 05-12-2020 at 10:03 AM.
    Face it. It's the apocalypse.

  7. #277

    Re: Covid19 & Tennis

    The age old question of chance and perseverance. There is probably no completely satisfying answer to it...
    Roger forever

  8. #278

    Re: Covid19 & Tennis

    Tennis is going to be allowed in a province here becoming the first sport to come back from the lockdown.
    Meet again we do, old foe...

  9. #279
    Been playing a long while Deuce*'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    An unparallel universe

    Re: Covid19 & Tennis

    Significantly different approaches for re-starting soccer (football) leagues...
    * Yes, it's me (last seen on TW boards in 2009).

  10. #280

    Re: Covid19 & Tennis

    May 15, 2020

    WTA Announces Further Suspension of Four Tournaments

    Following the announcement of the WTA Tour suspension through July 12, the WTA events in Bastad, Lausanne, Bucharest, and Jurmala scheduled for July will not be held, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We regret this is the case but will continue to be guided by medical experts for when it is safe and possible to return to WTA competition. We continue to monitor the situation closely and are hopeful to be back on the court as soon as possible.

    A decision regarding the dates in which Karlsruhe and Palermo may be played along with further updates to the WTA calendar will be made in June.

  11. #281

    Re: Covid19 & Tennis

    15 May 2020

    LONDON: The ATP has extended the suspension of the ATP Tour through to July 31, 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

    The decision, made in close collaboration with Tour members, means ATP events in Hamburg, Bastad, Newport, Los Cabos, Gstaad, Umag, Atlanta and Kitzbühel will not take place as scheduled. The extended suspension also applies to the ATP Challenger Tour and to men’s events on the ITF World Tennis Tour.

    “Due to continued uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we regret to announce our decision to extend the suspension of the Tour,” said Andrea Gaudenzi, ATP Chairman. “Just like tennis fans, players and tournament hosts all over the world, we share in the disappointment the Tour continues to be affected in this way. We continue to assess all of our options in an effort to resume the Tour as soon as it is safe to do so, including the feasibility of rescheduling events later in the season. As ever, the health and well-being of the tennis community and wider public remains our top priority in every decision we make.”

    Tournaments taking place from August 1, 2020 onwards are still planning to proceed as per the published schedule. A further update on the ATP Tour calendar is expected in mid-June.

    # # #

  12. #282
    Awards Showcase

    Woody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Blog Entries

    Re: Covid19 & Tennis

    From the latest Mailbag:

    I hear the USTA has been holding weekly calls with sponsors essentially laying out the plan for a “closed door” Open at the appointed time. It’s complicated. The players would have to arrive two weeks before play, quarantine and get checked daily. There would be virtually no hospitality on site. There would be multiple locker rooms. But—prodded by ESPN—the USTA is now committed to making this happen, provided local and state governments bless it.

  13. #283

    Re: Covid19 & Tennis

    Quote Originally Posted by Woody View Post
    I realize what Open refers to, but if they go ahead with that idea, can it be called the US Closed?
    Go Pack Go!

  14. #284
    Grand Slam Champion
    Awards Showcase

    omess's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    London, Canada

    Re: Covid19 & Tennis

    Quote Originally Posted by Woody View Post
    Gilles Simon said players will need 15 days to get back in shape after quarantine so they will have to arrive a month in advance....

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  15. #285

    Re: Covid19 & Tennis

    They would arrive a month before anyway if there are any warm up tournaments...
    Roger forever

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