Let’s try and forget the cliches for a second. It’s clear that 2020 has been one of the most challenging years in recent memory. And for professional tennis, it’s been possibly the most challenging year in the open era.
After the cancellation of the BNP Paribas Open in early March, there were no professional tournaments for over five months. And while many other sports made plans to return, tennis lagged behind. It seemed that once again there would be too much political infighting amongst the major organizations that had conflicting interests and financial goals. The French Open? Rescheduled. Wimbledon? Cancelled. All other smaller tournaments were gone by the wayside.
Unlike team sports where players are paid salaries, tennis players are independent contractors whose income is based on prize money at each event. Top players were going to be just fine, but hundreds of thousands of competitors went unemployed with no future in sight.