Former German player Boris Becker reckons not playing the US Open as scheduled could have disastrous consequences for players who are ranked lower on the ATP and WTA charts.
Speaking on Instagram Chat with Indian legend Vijay Amritraj, Becker said these lower-ranked players might look to find other jobs for sustenance if the coronavirus-induced lockdown isn’t ended soon.
ATP and WTA tennis has both been suspended since the start of March and all tournaments till mid-July have been cancelled. Even the WTA Rogers Cup, which was scheduled to be played in the first week of August has been postponed to next year.
Already Wimbledon has announced its cancellation this year and and while the US Open authorities have announced they won’t be taking any decision about the competition till June, the situation in USA, and especially in New York has been grim.
Nearly 17,000 people have lost their lives in the New York State, and while recent trends have shown somewhat of a reversal, a vaccine is yet to be developed for the illness.
The ATP and WTA have announced a joint-package as compensation for players ranked outside the top 100 but the big question is if that would be enough for players to continue with the sport. Becker thinks otherwise.
“If I were in charge, I would definitely try and have the US Open. I know the situation is not right in New York and I hope things get better.”
“But if the US Open doesn’t happen, the rest of the tennis season may well be cancelled. What are you going to do with those hundreds who need a living?”
The German also revealed players outside the top 50 in the rankings are reliant on their weekly pay-cheques to make a living and the cancellation of the US Open will prove to be a big blow to their chances of coming back to the sport.
Becker also suggested:
“Tennis is one of the few sports that can be held without spectators. It is not ideal, but most tennis players need to make a living. If everything is cancelled for the next few months, half the players will have to look for other jobs.”