Three weeks ago, John Millman was the catalyst for Australia’s Davis Cup win over Brazil — now he doesn’t know when he will play again. (AAP: James Elsby)
Australian tennis ace John Millman may have dodged coronavirus, but he is still resigned to not playing again this year.
- Tennis’s main world tours — the ATP for men and the WTA for women — were suspended in mid-March due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic
- Initially they were suspended for six weeks, before the entire tennis season — also including the Challenger Tour and the ITF world tour — were halted until June 7
- May’s French Open has been postponed until September, and organisers of Wimbledon will meet next week to decide its future
Millman fears the global nature of his sport will leave it almost impossible for the respective men’s and women’s tours to reset again in 2020.
“We’re going to have to be pretty unified in terms of our recovery process before the tour can resume,” Millman said.
“Maybe the tournament location has got the COVID-19 situation under wraps and then manage to contain it, but if someone’s flying in from South America, say, and their country hasn’t got a hold of it, then the tournament can’t [go ahead].
“You can’t have the tournament going when only certain players can get there. I think that’s where the problems lie.
“It’s almost like we have to have a vaccine or the virus has to run its course before there’ll be any let-up there.”
Millman fully expects the All England Club to cancel, or at least postpone, Wimbledon at an emergency meeting to be held next week in London.
He considers an August/September continuation as “the best-case-scenario”.
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“But I just can’t see us playing tennis for a long time and now it’s a matter of trying to stay [in the] fight, trying to scrape by a little bit while not much is coming in,” he said.
“You’re used to a bit of money coming in and obviously that’s not the case anymore. Yeah, it’s tough. It’s just not easy. You try and make do.
“But I don’t want to be a sob story, that’s for sure, because I know Australians are doing it a lot tougher than me.
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“When we’re talking about someone’s health as well, it’s pretty serious, and that’s when it puts it into perspective.”
Millman was the last player to face Brazilian Thiago Seyboth Wild — the first professional to test positive to coronavirus.
Brazil’s Thiago Seyboth Wild (right) was the first tennis player to test positive to COVID-19. (AAP: David Mariuz)
But, having shown no symptoms and having spoke to the Australian team doctor and other Brazilian players following the Davis Cup clash three weeks ago in Adelaide, Millman is confident he did not contract the disease.
Nevertheless, with social-distancing restrictions in place and the Queensland Tennis Centre in lockdown, Millman is staying home in Brisbane and using a makeshift gym to try to remain as fit as possible.
“Our doctor said it’s probably pretty unlikely he was carrying it in Adelaide,” Millman said.
“It’s now been a certain amount of days, that if he was carrying it in Adelaide, that if someone caught it, they would be showing symptoms.
“So as far as I’m aware I shouldn’t be doing anything else on top of that. I’ve been feeling pretty good.”