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A long and uncertain road: Davenport praises the cooperation between players at AO |




With an action-packed Australian Open nearing its end in 2021, it’s easy to focus heavily on all the great tennis that has been played. Early rounds. Upsets and comebacks. Participants advance, champions continue.

But today Tennis Channel analyst Lindsay Davenport spoke on TC Live about a much bigger theme that will likely last for most of 2021 when she quoted: How flexible everyone should be.

Just think what it took for over 200 players to even get to the Australian Open. COVID testing before departure A long journey on a sparse charter flight is on one level luxurious, on another creepy. More testing on arrival. Two week lockdown, guaranteed 19 hours a day for most, but 24 hours for 72 others due to the presence of COVID on their aircraft. Exercise, fitness, meals all limited. Oh, and then, time to compete in a major, where field temperatures often hit three-digit numbers.

In the midst of such pre-tournament circumstances, how confident could anyone feel that he or she was ready to pull out all the stops?

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Things have been going fairly smoothly in Australia for the past two weeks. Yes, there has been pain, especially among some men who suffered abdominal injuries and had to withdraw. Several players who passed the hard lockdown turned out to be quite rusty and were eliminated early. , at least from a tennis standpoint, the show went on.

But, as a rumbling volcano nearby, the cumulative stress of the pandemic certainly lingers and looms. COVID testing continues. I don’t know about you, but my blood pressure would go up every time I had one of those tests and nervously wait for the results. does a player worry if he or she catches a cold or shows other COVID symptoms that may or may not mean anything? Has everyone taken the right social distance? How did it feel to be in Melbourne and suddenly the city got a five-day lock in the middle of the tournament?

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As a friend who worked in Melbourne Park wrote to me during that ultra-sober period, being at the event felt like I was in a scene. The Omega Man, the 1971 film in which Charlton Heston played the last man on Earth who could occupy daylight.

The traveling tennis circus will soon be leaving Melbourne, its members going to different corners of the world to train, compete, as well as wait and wait, as the crunchy yet wise actress Bette Davis said in the film Everything about EveFasten your seat belts. It will be a bumpy night. Indeed, as 2021 progresses, flexibility will be vital for everyone in tennis and beyond.

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