What does 2020 Hold in Store for Tennis?

COVID-19 has completely turned the world upside down. The world is now way different from what it used to be just a couple of months ago. Due to the highly contagious virus, people all over the world have been self-isolating, living in lockdown regimes, and depriving themselves of social interactions. But humans aren’t the only ones who have had to struggle with the change of lifestyle.

A lot of businesses and industries have been forced to move to the digital scene, of course, if that’s something they can do. And this is something that will not only give them the chance to survive the pandemic but also help them develop as a business as well, as the demand for online entertainment is growing everyday. Things like online broadcasting websites and online casinos are becoming the primary source of online entertainment as the number of people who want to play real money casino games online is getting bigger and bigger.

And in order to adjust to the new reality where the digital world is almost as important as the physical one, there have been some new technologies developed in order to give tennis fans the opportunity to tune in live on all the most exciting and thrilling tennis matches all over the world. On May 26 Genius Sports Group announced that they will be launching the Grand Slam Tennis Tours MatchPlay 120 series in partnership with Topnotch Management (TNM). This will be a brand new tournament featuring players ranked inside the ATP and WTA top 300 such as 2020 Australian Open quarterfinalist Tennys Sandgren, 4-time ATP Tour title-winner Stevie Johnson, WTA Tour title-winner Lauren Davis and many others. The series will also highlight players from the Grand Slams and other major ATP and WTA events.

GSG  will deliver a host of live betting markets on the new MatchPlay 120 series as well as high-quality video streams to sportsbook operators through its GeniusLive technology. Powered by AI, the GeniusLive automated camera and production system will capture the action courtside, eliminating any need from camera crews.

And while the digital side of things is taken care of, the only thing that is still uncertain is what the future of real-life tennis looks like. While in 2019 the French Open at Roland Garros brought in 520,000 paying customers and the US Open attracted a record crowd of 740,000 at the Billie Jean King Tennis Centre in New York, the numbers this year are going to be very different. In order to prevent a further spread of the new coronavirus the Grand Slam might actually take place behind closed curtains.

And a lot of players and fans have expressed their unhappiness with the current situation. In an interview, the 20-Grand Slam title holder, Roger Federer said that he won’t bear seeing an empty stadium with no spectators. Pterav Kvitova went even as far as saying that she’d rather cancel the Grand Slam rather than play in front of empty seats.

But that doesn’t mean that there is no tennis going on in the world but they are all tightly-controlled in order to make sure that everyone stays safe. For example, Germany reopened an eight-man exhibition in the tiny town of Hoehr-Grenzhausen on May 1. It featured Dustin Brown, who has been very popular after defeating Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon in 2015. Other exhibitions are scheduled in the next months. A World Team Tennis tournament is going to take place in West Virginia in July featuring Sloane Stephens and Sofia Kenin. There is also going to be a charity tournament in London on June 23.

But all of these events will take place only if all the strict rules that help prevent contamination with COVID-19 will be respected. There will be no handshakes, everyone will wear masks and gloves and keep a certain distance from one another.

Using these restrictions is the only way tennis can come back to life in 2020 and all the executive chiefs are hoping that the situation will only subside from now on as it has definitely been too long since we have seen a good old tennis match.