Tours were suspended by COVID-19 (Part 1)

With news that the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells would not be held due to concerns about the spread of coronavirus, it raised the question of what other tennis tournaments might be forced by COVID-19 to cancel or postpone. 

The answer, as of 12th of Match 2020 is several as the ATP Tour has now suspended the tour for 12 weeks and events scheduled up to and inclusive of the week of June 7th will not take place.

The decision was kick-started after Indian Wells was forced to pull the plug after a case of the coronavirus was confirmed in the local Coachella Valley area.

That caused Riverside County Public Health Department to declare a public health emergency and along with a minimum of 539 other cases counted in the U.S. across 34 states, it was deemed enough of a public health risk to postpone the event.

While the possibility of playing behind closed doors was looked into, it was ultimately rejected by tournament officials and the news broke on Sunday evening.

We are very disappointed that the tournament will be canceled, but the health and safety of the local community, players, volunteers, fans, sponsors, employees, vendors, and everyone involved with the event is of great importance. We are prepared to organize the tournament on another day and will explore options. Tommy Haas, Indian Wells Tournament Director

Then on the 12th of March after a crisis meeting, the ATP decided that the tour was to be suspended for a period of six weeks.

This is not a decision that was taken seriously and it represents a great loss for our tournaments, players, and fans over the world. However we believe this is the responsible action necessary at this time in order to protect the health and safety of our players, staff, the tennis community and general public health in this pandemic. The nature of our sport and the international travel required presents huge risks and challenges in today’s context, as do the increasingly restrictive directives issued by local authorities. We continue to manage this on a daily basis and we look forward to the Tour recover when the situation improves. In the meantime, our thoughts and well-wishes are with all those that have been affected by the virus. Andrea Gaudenzi, ATP Chairman

Greatest Women’s Tennis Players of All Time (Part 4)

Steffi Graf

Born: June 14, 1969

Born in Mannheim, Baden-Wurttemberg, West Germany

Resides: Las Vegas, Nevada

Turned pro: 1982

Retired: 1999

Career prize money: $21,891,306

107 career titles of which there are 22 Grand Slam Singles Titles

Inducted into Tennis Hall of Fame: 2004

Able to win on all surfaces, Graff was a model of consistency throughout her 17-year career. Her record 377 weeks ranked as number one in the world is a record for any player, male or female. In 1988, Graff became the first player to achieve what is regarded as the calendar year Golden Slam by winning all four majors plus the Olympic Gold Medal in the same year, a remarkable feat.

From the late 1980s to the mid-1990s, there was no one better than Graf, and when she retired in 1999, she was still ranked number three in the world. Were it not for the long and storied career of Serena Williams the case would be made for Graf as the greatest of all-time. While many will continue to debate Steffi versus Serena as the greatest female player of all-time they were both incredible players who dominated their era and advanced women’s tennis.

Serena Williams

Born: September 26, 1981

Born in Saginaw, Michigan

Resides: Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

Turned pro: 1995

Career prize money: $92,715,122

73 career titles of which there are 23 Grand Slam Singles Titles

Current active player

One of the strongest and most powerful women to ever play the game, Serena Williams has certainly left her mark on tennis. Together, Serena and her sister, Venus, have been a dominant force in women’s tennis since the late 1990s. With 23 Grand Slam Singles titles including the 2017 Australian Open, Serena now owns the open era record for Grand Slam singles titles by a tennis player, male or female.

Serena’s game has certainly withstood the test of time and competition. Her Grand Slam titles have come over an 18-year period starting in 1999, with her latest victory coming at the 2017 Australian Open. Out of competitive tennis for most of 2017 while pregnant, Serena has now reached 4 Grand Slam finals without securing that coveted 24th title. Certainly making it to the 2018 and 2019 Wimbledon and US Open finals was a step in the right direction and everything points to Serena remaining competitive despite turning 38 in 2019.

Greatest Women’s Tennis Players of All Time (Part 4)

Margaret Court

She was born on July 16, 1942 in Albury, New South Wales, Australia and lives in Perth, Western Australia

She become pro in 1960 and retired in 1977

Her career prize money values at approximately $500,000 with 192 career titles and 24 Grand Slam Singles Titles

She was inducted into Tennis Hall of Fame in 1979

There are many experts out there who believe that Margaret Court is the best player of all time. With a record 24 Grand Slam singles titles, it’s no competition. In addition to her achievements another 19 doubles and 19 mixed doubles titles and Court to a record 62 Major titles.

She was the first woman in the open era who won the singles Grand Slam in 1970, and she is one of only two women (Daniela Hantuchova is the other) to win a Grand Slam in mixed doubles, which she achieved twice. Undoubtedly the best player in the 1960s to early 1970s, Court was the first female player to incorporate weights and fitness training into her daily training routine. The result was an injury-free long-lasting career.

Martina Navratilova

She was born on October 18, 1956 in Prague, Czechoslovakia then resides in Sarasota, Florida

She become pro in 1975 and retired in 1994

Her career prize money is valued at $21,626,089 with 167 career titles, including 18 Grand Slam Singles Titles. She was inducted into Tennis Hall of Fame: 2000

One of the toughest competitors to ever rule the court, Martina Navratilova dominated female tennis from the late 1970s through a good part of the 1980s. Known for her extreme physical conditioning, Martina was well-known for big serve and volley back.

She held the open era record for career titles with 167 and has 59 total Grand Slam titles in both singles, doubles, and mixed doubles. Martina also held the record for career Wimbledon titles with an amazing nine championships. She will always be remembered as one of the greatest doubles players ever.

Greatest Women’s Tennis Players of All Time (Part 3)

Monica Seles

Monica Seles was born on December 2, 1973 in Novi Sad, SR Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia and lives in Sarasota, Florida. She became pro in 1989 then retired in 2008. With 53 career titles, she was inducted into Tennis Hall of Fame in 2009 with the career worth $14,891,762. 

If she hasn’t been attacked and stabbed on-court by a deranged fan in 1993, Monica Seles would certainly have gone on to win more Grand Slam titles. Her epic battles with Steffi Graf were exceptional, and as the fans, we were deprived of some great matches because of one fan’s sick obsession.

While Monica did return to tennis court two years after the incident, she was never quite having the same performance. To her credit, she did win the 1996 Australian Open, her outstanding post-attack Grand Slam victory. Monica Seles continued to play until 2003 and officially retired in 2008.

There is no doubt that Monica Seles was the most famous player from 1990 to 1992. During this time, she won nine Grand Slam Titles and in 1991 was the top-ranked female player in the world.

Chris Evert

She was born on December 21, 1954 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and has lived in Boca Raton, Florida. She become pro in 1972 and retired in 1989. With 157 titles through career, she was inducted into Tennis Hall of Fame in 1995 with total Career prize money of $8,895,195.

She was a graceful on the court, a machine from the baseline, and with that two-handed backhand shot, she dominated female tennis from the mid-1970s into the early 1980s. Evert still holds the record for winning the most Grand Slam singles finals with 34, and she  remarkably win 18 of them including every major at least twice. When Martina Navratilova became dominant in the late 1970s, it provided fans with a great on-court rivalry. Evert was the year-ending number one female player in the world for seven years and had a career winning percentage in singles matches of approximately 90 percent.

Greatest Women’s Tennis Players of All Time (Part 2)

Evonne Goolagong

Evonne Goolagong was born in 1951 in Griffith, New South Wales, Australia and has lived in Noosa Heads, Queensland, Australia. She turned professional tennis player in 1968 and retired in 1983. With 68 titles (Grand Slam Singles Titles: 4 Australian, 1 French, 2 Wimbledon), her career prize money worth of $1,399,430 and she was inducted into Tennis Hall of Fame in 1988. Often overlooked as she played during the era of star players Chris Everett and Martina Navratilova, Goolagong was the combination of grace and beauty on the court. Despite playing during one of the most competitive periods in female tennis, Goolagong was ranked number one female player in the world.

She has another distinction of being the only mother since the time of World War I to have won Wimbledon, having got the title in 1980 after giving birth to her daughter in 1977.

The only Grand Slam title she didn’t win, was the US Open, where she got into the finals in four consecutive years, 1973-1976.

Justine Henin

Justine Henin was born in Liege, Belgium on June 1, 1982 and has lived in Brussels, Belgium. She became professional tennis player in 1999, retired the first time in 2008 and finally in 2011.

With 50 career titles (7 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 4 French, 1 Australian, 2 US Open), her career prize money worth $20,863,335. 

Famous for her mental and physical toughness, Justine Henin was one of the most athletic women to ever play tennis. Despite her small stature, she filled with a powerful punch and played a complete game that comprised of a powerful serve and a forehand shot that she hit with both power and accuracy. She was one of the best volleyers in the game being comfortable at the net as well as from the baseline.

In 2003, she achieved the number one position in the world ranking, having won both the French Open and the US Open. In 2004, Henin got the Gold Medal at the Athens Olympics and the very first Australian Open title. She won seven Grand Slam titles in her career but retired abruptly in 2008 claiming of burnout from over twenty years of competitive tennis. A brief comeback in 2010 was not so much achievement, and she retired for good in early 2011.

Greatest Women’s Tennis Players of All Time (Part 1)

People who have had a lifelong passion for the game of tennis would probably interested in following the world’s top players. Ranking the top of anything is difficult and subjective task. There have been so many talented female tennis players over the last 60 years of the Open Era, and this doesn’t even take into consideration the great female tennis players from the early 20th century. Changes in fitness regimes, nutrition, racket technology and playing style over the years have only contributed to complicate an already challenging task. As difficult as it was to select the top all-time greatest male tennis players, the female top tennis players is no easier.

After surfing through countless number of statistical records, we have come up with this list of the best female tennis players during the Open Era starting from 1968 to the present time. 

Martina Hingis

Hingis was born September 30, 1980 in Kosice, Czechoslovakia and resides in Fuesisberg, Switzerland. She started playing pro in 1994 and retired in 2017. During her pro career, the prize money worth $24,749,074 with 45 titles including 5 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 1 Wimbledon, 1 US Open, 3 Australian Open.

For nearly 209 weeks, she was ranked number one in the world given her 13 Grand Slam Doubles titles, 7 Mixed Doubles titles, and 2 Tour Finals titles. It’s difficult to exclude the Swiss star despite the fact that her singles career was relatively short due to severe injuries. Her first retirement started in 2003 when she was just 22 years old. As soon as she remained healthy, she would have contended for many more number of Grand Slam singles titles. Martina was able to lengthen her tennis career by playing mostly doubles and had great success with achieving 3 Grand Slam Doubles titles in 2017, her final year in the competitive pro tennis.