As time has gone on, more and more professional sports are starting to be played. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the first professional sporting event to have been put on was a UFC match in May 2020, and since then more sports started to find ways to compete. The NFL, MLB, and NBA all played their season with limited fans and COVID tests as the new normal. College sports are currently playing, too.
As the new normal has become a part of daily life, some professional sports are still struggling to host tournaments and have players compete like normal. One of these sports is tennis. Tennis is one of the most popular sports and is played around the world. With that being said, players are having a difficult time traveling and playing tournaments since countries around the world have different COVID protocols.
The first major grand slam to kick off the new tennis season is normally held in January in Australia: the Australian Open. This year it was held a month later. Normally players play tournaments in New Zealand and other parts of Australia to get match-play before the slam, but this year most players were training in their hotel rooms for two weeks, hoping each day that they would be escorted to a court to get some fresh air and most importantly to practice. Some days this would not happen.
The good news is that organizations are trying to make sporting events happen, for the athletes to keep doing what they love and for them to keep making money so they do not go unemployed during this troubling time. Sports fans are able to take a break from their daily life and continue to cheer on their beloved players and teams.
However, when events are held in different countries and athletes are from different parts of the world where COVID-19 protocols are completely different, athletes are required to quarantine before they play their events. This makes it harder to physically prepare for competition.
Some ideas to help players stay as ready as they can be is letting the players who are in the tournament know they are in it, so they can go into quarantine well before the tournament starts. Another option is to keep pushing tournament dates back, like the Miami Open and Indian Wells tennis tournaments, where the tournament committees are trying to find the safest way for players to play in the pandemic. Since vaccines are becoming more and more available, sports that are running into these problems could require athletes to get the vaccine so they would not have to quarantine before the competition.
These are just some of the problems that tournaments and competitions that are taking place all over the world and have athletes from different countries compete in the face. These are great challenges placed on athletes with playing sports in the pandemic. It is a great thing that efforts are being made to make sure the tournaments are being played, despite pushing dates back and having to quarantine athletes before the tournaments to return to normalcy. As time goes on, there will be better solutions to some of these problems, hopefully sooner than later.