20 Questions for the Future of Tennis

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(Photo by Simon Bruty/Anychance/Getty Images)

Bill Simons

As the COVID-19 crisis transforms our globe, our lives and our sport, what questions is tennis facing?

  1. When will people across America and the world be able to play singles, and even doubles again?
  2. Will the 2020 US Open be played?
  3. After that, what big championship will be staged – the French Open (scheduled to start September 20th) the year-end championships, the Davis Cup around Thanksgiving, or the Australian Open?
  4. In the future, will tournaments be played in front of packed crowds, in empty stadiums, or something in between? And to what extent will we see a new temperature-taking, handwashing landscape of masks, gloves and social distancing?
  5. Will the ATP and WTA merge?
  6. Will there be a far greater parity between the huge money that top champions make and the far lesser amounts lower-ranked players get, especially those outside the top 100?
  7. Will the ITF’s newly created rules making it harder for aspiring players to enter the game be changed?
  8. Will the pause in play help the older or younger players?
  9. The Bryan Brothers say they might put off their planned retirement and play in 2021. But will older players like Venus, Federer and Serena use this as an opportunity to retire? Will Andy Murray and Kim Clijsters sustain their comeback efforts?
  10. How will No. 1 Novak Djokovic’s desire not to take vaccines impact his presence on the tour?
  11. Djokovic, who hasn’t lost this year, earlier quipped that he’d go undefeated in 2020. Will that prove true?
  12. What effect will the pause in tennis have on the ascent of young stars – like Coco Gauff, Sofia Kenin, Amanda Anisimova and Taylor Fritz, to name a few?
  13. How will tennis clubs, country clubs and resorts rebound? Will players still have the resources to be club members, take lessons and travel?
  14. Will real estate entrepreneurs or big club owners seek to buy smaller endangered clubs and will that hurt tennis?
  15. Will teaching pros still be able to thrive, or will many retire? Will young pros still enter the profession?
  16. Will the drop in the economy derail traditional retailers, who’ve long been an integral part of the game?
  17. Will racket sales, that were already modest, dip further?
  18. What if the huge funds from college football vanish? Will that threaten the existence of college tennis and will that in turn discourage young players who use tennis as a pathway to a higher education?
  19. What changes will there be in the tennis media?
  20. Will Serena be able to equal Margaret Court’s record of 23 Slams?

 

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1 COMMENT

  1. I believe in quality life and that means all tournaments should be played. I’d rather get sick and die than to stay home to prevent from getting any disease.

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