The world number two Simona Halep has been honest in her assessment of the current situation, believing there’s a chance the whole 2020 season is called off – while voicing her fears over the virus at home in Bucharest.
The professional tennis circuit has been suspended until mid-July as a result of this pandemic, though there are hopes that the year’s latter months can save a suspended season – starting with the US Open at the end of August.
New York City hosts the final Grand Slam of the year, but is currently dealing with over 185,000 positive cases and 9,385 total deaths (stats correct to February 13, 0845 GMT).
Earlier this month, Wimbledon was officially cancelled for the first time since the end of World War Two, while Roland Garros organisers were criticised for their ambitious efforts to reschedule later this summer.
August 30 to September 13 are the dates scheduled for Flushing Meadows this year and although playing tennis isn’t on many athletes’ minds right now, tournament organisers are hoping for a closed-door competition.
The Telegraph’s Simon Briggs reported last Thursday that the US Open is not insured by circumstances such as infectious disease – unlike SW19 – adding further pressure on providing competition this year, regardless of whether fans are allowed inside or not.
Halep was quoted as saying: “For the worst-case scenario in my head, this year is going to be cancelled. Before this, my longest break was three weeks. I don’t really have that feeling to know how it is, playing after such a long break so don’t know what to expect.
The most important thing in the game are the legs: I have to keep running and keep my muscles activated, if I move well on the court, tennis is going to be okay.”
Halep worried about virus, affect on lung capacity
During an interview with Romanian TV, the 28-year-old voiced her fears over the virus and how even if you are able to recover fully after contracting COVID-19, your lungs will be left seriously affected.
For a tennis player in the prime years of her career, that prospect is a scary one and she’s since locked herself at home in Bucharest.
“In the beginning, I had this fear but analysed the situation and figured out if you protect yourself, everything will be okay. I’m afraid for those with health issues.
I fear this virus because, even if we are healthy and have good immunity – so we can resist it – it will leave us with very serious lung affection. That’s why I decided to take maximum care of myself.”
Her worries are supported by Dr. Keith Mortman, chief of thoracic surgery at GWHU, during an interview for Sky News. He said: “There is such a stark contrast between the virus-infected abnormal lung and the more healthy, adjacent lung tissue.”
Quotes’ source: TennisWorld USA