EXCLUSIVE – Tim Henman’s big hint that Wimbledon 2021 will go ahead as he voices Aus Open concerns

Kevin Palmer
Andy Murray and Tim Henman

Tim Henman admits he has “some concerns” over how the Australian Open will proceed in January, as he confirmed he would not be captaining the Great Britain team for a second year if the ATP Cup goes ahead as planned.

Speaking exclusively to Tennis365, the former British No 1 revealed he would not lead Britain into battle in the team event, despite enjoying his role in a team that featured Andy Murray and Dan Evans earlier this year.

With long quarantine periods currently in place for visitors to Australia amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Henman has conceded he does not want to spend an extended period of time on the road and he suspects that issue could also affect players preparing for the Australian Open.

Australian Open chief admits it will take a few years before we see a ‘normal’ tournament again

“In the short term, we still have some concerns over the Australian Open and tennis in general,” said Henman, who will be part of the Amazon Prime team bringing coverage of next week’s ATP Finals to a UK audience.  

“We are going into the Australian summer so hopefully that will help as the virus does not seem to be so virulent in the warm weather, but they have strict quarantine rules in Australia and we need to see how that will work out. 

“There are still a lot of Australians in Europe who cannot get back into their own country, so trying to bring elite athletes from all over the world seems challenging, but I really hope it happens. 

“It would also be great to see the ATP Cup taking place. I was GB captain for the event at the start of this year and it was a fantastic tournament. I hope they can build on that, but I won’t be captain this time. To be a part of that, you need to be in Australia in mid-December and I don’t want to be away from my family for that period of time, never mind over Christmas. 

“If things settle down and I am asked to be a part of it in the future, then I would love to try and make that happen.”

Henman’s role as a prominent member of the committee at the All England Club saw him play a role in the decision to cancel The Championships last summer, with plans now being drawn up ensure Wimbledon 2021 can go ahead.

Three potential proposals have been put forward by Wimbledon that included a tournament will full stands, reduced spectators and empty courts, with Henman suggesting the prospect of a vaccine allowing a return to normal life will fill us all with anticipation.

“We have taken too much in life for granted down the years and that includes sport,” adds Henman. “Wimbledon is on every summer and we never imagined a year when that wouldn’t happen, but it came to pass in 2020 and hopefully that is the final year when it won’t happen. 

“For me being involved in the event on the committee, it was amazing to be part of the decision to cancel the event for the first time since the Second World War.

“What I can say is there are so many plans now being considered for 2021. I really do hope that this vaccine can have a big impact and we can return to something close to normality in the near future.

“It would be nice to look forward to Wimbledon as we know it because we all missed it this year.”

Amazon Prime members in the UK and Ireland will have exclusive access to live tennis coverage from the Nitto ATP Finals 2020, from Sunday 15th to Sunday 22nd November.

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