After an unexpected five month hiatus, tennis is returning to normal. Things look interesting with the Western and Southern Open (Cincinnati Masters 1000) underway and the US Open around the corner. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, USTA authorities are taking every possible precaution to ensure everyone’s safety. For this reason there will be no audience for the game; only essential personnel will be admitted. Many former players are debating whether this decision is good or bad. Despite all these precautions, many players, including reigning champions Rafael Nadal and Bianca Andreescu, have withdrawn for tournaments. However, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Serena Williams are among the players. This week, another tennis legend evaluated the situation.
Martina Navratilova talks about Novak Djokovic
According to Tennis.com, 18-time Grand Slam champion Martina Navratilova went to a press conference and gave a piece of her mind. He thinks that the “no crowd” factor will be important for the lower level player. The best players are already used to it.
When asked if Novak Djokovic, the only one of the Big 3, is playing solely for the sake of easily winning his 18th main title, she said:
“He would still be the favorite, as the number 1 player in the world, and now with Rafa and Roger not present, he would be a big favorite, I think,” Navratilova said. “His preparation is so meticulous. It leaves no stone unturned. With the new situation, I’m sure he would have put his team together and really tried to find the best way to prepare in those circumstances. ”
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“He would have taken part in the crowd. Now there is nothing to worry him there, so he can just focus on the game, not get mad because the audience is not on his side. I agree with him, he doesn’t deserve the level of non-support he gets. Either way, it will be a little easier for him to stay focused in a way. “
Navratilova also said that not playing for that long will be a factor for everyone involved, whether he is a top player or not. However, he is looking forward to trying tennis in the “new normal”.
The US Open returns to the world on August 31, live from the USTA Billie Jean Tennis Center, New York.