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Djokovic, Federer, Nadal won't be affected much: Amitraj

Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Harish Kotian
May 20, 2020 13:53 IST
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'They won't be affected at all by loss of money or points. They are all chasing each other on number of Grand Slams as they have legacies already in place.'

IMAGE: Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Photograph: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The 'Big Three' of tennis world -- Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic -- won't lose much due to the suspension of professional tours since they have already created their own legacies but the real struggle is for lower-ranked players, including the Indians, says legendary Vijay Amritraj.

 

The men's ATP Tour won't start before August and the WTA Tour is expected to resume not before July 20.

Amritraj said the trio of Federer, Djokovic and Nadal, who have a tight grip over Grand Slam tournaments, won't feel any financial stress or the pressure of progress.

"They won't be affected at all by loss of money or points. They are all chasing each other on number of Grand Slams as they have legacies already in place. They have all made history in their own way," Amritraj said.

Federer has won a record 20 Grand Slam singles titles, with Spaniard Nadal close on his heels with 19, while reigning world No. 1 Djokovic has 17 majors under his belt.

The Indian tennis legend said the situation is tough for a large pool of players across the globe, specially the ones outside the top-100 bracket.  

"Everyone in the tennis world will be affected. Players in various ranking categories will be affected in their own way. The lesser players will really struggle to make a strong comeback when this virus is contained. And older players will have lost crucial time," he said.

"The Indian players will also be affected exactly like the lower ranked players making it hard to get back in position of fitness, ranking points and cash on hand to get started quickly when it opens up."

Amritraj, who is also the president of Tamil Nadu Tennis Association (TNTA), said whenever tennis action resumes, the most likely scenario would be that fans won't be able to watch live action.

"Tennis this year seems a bit distant though the US Open and the delayed French Open seem to still have a date in place. Will have to wait and see if it still happens.

"Tennis could potentially return with no fans rest of this year. That's also tentative depending on each country's situation. Social distancing and the fact that players come from different countries makes our sport tougher to run," he said.

On Wimbledon being cancelled this year owing to the coronavirus pandemic, Amritraj, twice a quarter-finalist at the prestigious grass court tournament, said "it is a great disappointment".

"It's such a major event on the sporting calendar worldwide. Eagerly look forward to 2021," Amritraj, a noted commentator and who has been associated with Wimbledon for five decades, said.

To a question if the so-called pack of challengers which includes the likes of Australian Open finalist Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas and others were any closer to beating the 'Big Three', Amritraj said they are still some way behind.

"All the challengers are still catching up. They are the best behind the top three and there are several others as well. But until they start winning the Grand Slam events and that too on a regular basis, which they will, we have to wait and see how the top three maintain their winning record especially as age is not on their side," he said.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Harish Kotian© Copyright 2020 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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