Welcome to the 33rd issue of Tennis inbox. Hope you had a restful holiday season and are looking forward to what’s coming in 2021. This week: upcoming tournaments, Sam Querrey explains his side of the Escape from Russia saga, and Bob Brett’s passing. Read on to find out more.
With the 2021 season already underway, I thought it best to provide an eagle-eye view of what’s coming—with draws and relevant information attached:
Delray Open (ATP 250): 7th–13th January
Cristian Garin and John Isner are the top two seeds. View the draw →
Antalya Open (ATP 250): 7th–13th January
Matteo Berrettini and David Goffin are the top two seeds. View the draw →
Abu Dhabi WTA Women’s Tennis Open (WTA 500): 6th–13th January
Sofia Kenin and Elina Svitolina are the top two seeds. View the draw →
Australian Open qualifying: 10th–13th January
As I mentioned in the last issue, qualifying for the Australian Open has shifted to the Middle East with the men playing in Doha and the women in Dubai. Qualifying draws will only be released on 9th January. Live streaming will be available through the AO app and ausopen.com.
Sam Querrey’s side of the story
Last week we reported on Sam Querrey’s $20,000 provisional fine from the ATP for breaking coronavirus protocols in St. Petersburg and fleeing the country with his family on a private plane. On Monday, Querrey offered up his side of the story to Sports Illustrated’s Jon Wertheim. From the way it was covered, the narrative was that Querrey just up and bounced when he was informed that he’d tested positive for the coronavirus.
But Querrey’s retelling certainly causes me to reconsider. The American player paints an uncertain picture for himself and his family. Querrey was fine with quarantining in the hotel for the required two weeks. Alarm bells only started to ring in his head two days into the quarantine period:
“Then two days in, around 8 p.m., I got a call from one of the ATP supervisors. ‘Hey, you guys are no longer welcome to stay at the hotel. And two doctors are gonna come to your room, one for you and your wife, and a pediatric doctor for your baby. And they’re going to determine whether you are symptomatic or not, and if you’re symptomatic, the three of you are going to a hospital for a minimum of two weeks.‘ And I had this on speaker, so my wife starts panicking. I’m obviously not happy about that, because we feel safe in the tournament hotel. Now, we have two random doctors coming? Who are the doctors? I have no idea who they’re with, what hospital they’re with, what’s going on. And I couldn’t get any answers.“
After that call, the Querreys began to worry that if they all were classified as symptomatic they would be separated:
“Also, our son is seven months old at the time, and he is teething and has a little fever anyway. And so I didn’t know if the doctors would determine he has a fever, he’s symptomatic. ‘Are they going take just the baby to a separate hospital from the one that we were going to go to?’ And no one answered these questions for me. No one could say, ‘Oh, you guys will for sure stay together,’ or anything like that.'”
The situation—especially given the fact that doctors were planning on visiting them at 10 p.m. at night—made the Querreys uncomfortable enough to the point where they felt they had to get out of the hotel.
“And so, at that point, I’ve called [my agent] John Tobias and we’ve reached out to the ATP to hopefully get some answers and get some help. I say, ‘Hey, we feel very vulnerable, it’s very uncomfortable. It’s in the hands of these Russian doctors, and they are going to determine whether or not we go to a hospital in Russia for two weeks?’“
Querrey was able to get the doctors to arrive at 10 a.m. the next morning instead of 10 p.m. at night. Before the doctors arrived the next morning, the family planned what to do. Querrey recalls it as:
“I kinda had to make a decision between 10 p.m. and 10 a.m. the next day. I had my wife there, and I had my baby there, and as a human decision, I was like, ‘Hey, I don’t feel comfortable with this.’ So we made the decision to charter a plane and leave.”
According to Querrey, the family was aware of their coronavirus infection and took every precaution to ensure that they would not be spreading it on to those they were in contact with. As I mentioned at the start of this piece, his retelling certainly makes me pause and consider the position he was put in—and places doubt on the narrative that Querrey simply didn’t like the idea of quarantining in Russia so he fled with his family.
How would you or I react if we felt we weren’t sure what would happen to our child? What do you think?
Bob Brett passes aged 67
Esteemed Australian tennis coach, Bob Brett has passed away at 67 after a battle with cancer. A popular coach on tour, these are some of the players Brett coached:
- Goran Ivanisevic
- Boris Becker
- Johan Kriek
- Marin Cilic
Tennis Australia has put together a press release of sorts on Brett’s impact in the tennis world, complemented by messages from Australian greats and various other coaches and players.
Use Resultina to keep up with scores
As the tennis season kicks off and you find yourself eager to keep up with results around the globe, you might be in for a small shock when you realize that the ATP/WTA Live app is no longer operational. Upon trying to open it, we’re told “This app will no longer operate from 2021.” That’s a bummer—especially given how the app was great at providing match results from all levels and tours in a simple format.
Fortunately, there are alternatives. The best we’ve found is an app called Resultina. Grumblings aside on why the ATP and WTA haven’t been able to band together to provide an easy-to-use app for tennis fans to keep up with the tours, Resultina does a great job at keeping fans up to date with results. The developers of the app also seem to be fairly active on Twitter and are willing to listen to user feedback and adjust accordingly. Each match covered also includes little statistical gems such as how many close games a player won, how many break point chances they converted, and how often a player won the “big points.”
Have you found a better app to keep up with tennis scores? Please let us know in the comments:
Pickle. Ball. Newsletter
Are you one of the millions flocking to pickleball? Welp, we’ve got a newsletter for ya, and it’s called the Dink. Join us every other Tuesday for highlights, tips, gear, half-baked opinions and more. Just enter your email here, it’s free!—The Dink Team
This is a sponsorship swap.