‘I thought it was an April Fools joke!’ – ATP star describes moment he learned of COVID-19 cancellations
Diego Schwartzman says he thought he was the victim of an April Fools joke when he was told about Indian Wells being cancelled due to concerns over COVID-19.
Most players had already arrived in California for the tournament, which was ultimately the first of six weeks of ATP events to be called-off due to health concerns.
Schwartzman was among them, and has been describing how he reacted to the news that COVID-19 has wiped out much of the global sporting calendar.
“I didn’t like [the way Indian Wells was cancelled],” Schwartzman told La Nacion, “mostly because I landed in Los Angeles on Sunday and found out that it had been cancelled by messages from [coaches] Facundo Lugones and Fede Coria, who were there in the tournament.
“I even looked if it wasn’t April Fool’s Day, I thought they were playing a joke on me.
“The next day, the healthiest thing, was to cancel the Miami Open.
“I understand that they took a few days, they also waited for the opinions of the players, the governments and everything that was happening, but the wisest thing was done.”
The situation presents an unusual challenge for players, who are usually really getting into the rhythm at this stage of the season, but will now essentially have to start the season all over again in terms of preparation.
“We will pretend that the year has not started and we will prepare a preseason of three or four weeks,” Schwartzman added.
“We have to think that it will be a year a little shorter than normal and we have to adapt.’
As well as Indian Wells and the Miami Open, the coronavirus crisis has seen Houston, Grand Prix Hassan II, the Monte-Carlo Masters, the Barcelona Open , and the Hungarian Open all called off.
Olympic chiefs speak to Peng Shuai after WTA pulls all events out of China
The IOC said it is concerned about Peng but is using “quiet diplomacy” to engage with China.
Explainer – Why Emma Raducanu has a real chance to break into the world’s top 10 in 2022
The door is open for Raducanu to make rapid strides forward in the WTA rankings.
Johanna Konta reveals why she decided to call time on her tennis career
Konta has gone into detail over why she decided the time was right to call time on her tennis career.
Novak Djokovic turns on the style to lead Serbia into Davis Cup semi-finals
Djokovic defeated Alexander Bublik before teaming up with Nikola Cacic in the deciding doubles rubber.
Dramatic move as WTA suspends all Chinese tournaments amid Peng Shuai concerns
The WTA has withdrawn all of its business with China over ongoing concerns over the safety of Peng Shuai.
End of the road for former British No.1 Johanna Konta as she retires from tennis
Konta has announced her retirement from tennis, with the former British No.1 walking away from the sport at the age of 30.
Australian official hits back after claim they are ‘blackmailing’ Novak Djokovic
Djokovic is increasingly being drawn into a political battle as the decision on whether he will play in the Australian Open looms large.
Comment – Novak Djokovic may be about to become an anti-vaxxer poster boy
The world No.1 and reigning Australian Open champions has refused to confirm whether or not he is vaccinated against Covid-19.
Captain Leon Smith gives his verdict as Britain crash out of Davis Cup
Britain’s Davis Cup campaign came to an end in the quarter-finals with defeat by Germany in Innsbruck.
A look at China’s female tennis stars: From Peng Shuai to Zheng Saisai and Wang Xinyu
China is producing world-class tennis stars and Lucy Roberts takes a look at some of the standout stars.