Stan Wawrinka has admitted there is a real possibility we don’t see any tennis for the remainder of the year, due to the coronavirus outbreak. The season has been suspended since March 12 and there will be no events until July 13 at the earliest.
The world number 17, who turned 35 on March 28, has echoed the sentiments of other players on Tour by sharing his lack of optimism over potentially playing the remainder of the 2020 season once the existing suspension expires.
During an interview with French news outlet L’Equipe, he said: “So even if we play without an audience, there will still be a lot of people there. It’s too early to know. Everything is possible – it’s possible that we won’t be playing at all this year.”
Lower-ranked players are facing significant financial difficulties during the ongoing suspension of play, with the three-time Grand Slam champion stressing how important it is that they are not forgotten during an unpredecented time such as this.
“It is very important to support players who have a lot of difficulties. If tennis exists, it is thanks to all the players, not only those at the top. But it also shows that there is a lack of harmony in pro tennis: the Grand Slams bring a lot of money to their Federation.”
His comments come after Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer’s discussion last month about combining alongside the ATP to set up a fund for lower-ranked players.
World number three and this year’s Australian Open runner-up Dominic Thiem made headlines last week when disagreeing with the notion for more funding for lower-ranked players. He said this, during an interview with Austrian newspaper Krone:
“None of the players are starving. [The top players] all had to fight our way up the rankings. I’ve seen players on the ITF Tour who don’t 100% commit to the sport, many are quite unprofessional. I don’t see why I should give them money.
“There is no profession where you have a guarantee of success and high earnings at the start of your career. I would rather give to people and institutions who really need it.”