Three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray has said he will definitely play the rescheduled French Open in October provided it keeps the new date. Also Read - Mumbai to Open Drive-in Vaccination Centres in Several Areas. Check List
The organisers of the French Open announced they are postponing the event to mid-September due to the coronavirus pandemic. The decision left several players surprised saying they weren’t informed or consulted before making the call as the tournament will start just a week after the US Open. Also Read - CM Yogi Issues Fresh Instructions, Tasks Team-9 To Ensure All-Round Effort To Tackle Covid 2.0
With all professional tennis suspended at least till mid of July, Murray isn’t too hopeful that the season will resume anytime soon.”I’d definitely play on the clay, if it goes ahead,” Murray told CNN. Also Read - Covid-19: CSK Star Suresh Raina Urges For Oxygen, Bollywood Actor Sonu Sood Responds With Help
“I’m a bit sceptical whether it will. I would imagine tennis would be one of the last sports to get back to normality because you’ve obviously got players, coaches and teams coming from all over the world into one area. I’d be surprised if they’re back playing sport by September time, but we’ll see,” the former world No. 1 added.
The 32-year-old Murray was hoping to get back on the court through Miami Open in March after having skipped the start of the season that included the Australian Open due to injury setbacks.
“I was training to get ready for that and that was going to be a good test. I was fit and feeling pretty strong,” the Scot said.
With uncertainty hanging over the entirety of 2020 season, tennis’ global governing bodies have announced they are in discussions to create a Player Relief Programme to provide financial assistance to players affected due to the ongoing health crisis.
“Players ranked 250-300 in the world, it’s going to be really, really challenging for them,” Murray said.
While saying that top players won’t be much affected, he suggested having a look at distribution of funds to help struggling players.
“And I think in the last few years, there has been some improvements and some changes, but probably not enough. Sometimes you see the prize money cheque for the winner of the Grand Slams. And it’s… something like 4 million. Could that money be used better and spent elsewhere in the earlier rounds or the qualifying draws or maybe used to grow some of the smaller events?” he said.