A delayed Australian Open is within the books, and whereas the schedule continues to look a bit of totally different than in years previous, the tennis tour continues its ahead march. With an belly tear for Novak Djokovic and troubling again spasms for Rafael Nadal, nonetheless, the tour might march on with out its two top-ranked gamers. However whereas Djokovic and Nadal might not return till the clay swing, there shall be loads of others glad to fill the void they’ve left behind.
A person who can greater than fill that void is Roger Federer. The Swiss has been out of the sport for greater than a yr following knee surgical procedure and is aiming to make his much-anticipated return to aggressive tennis subsequent week in Doha. Federer has at all times been a grasp at managing his schedule, and his return this time is not any totally different. After Doha, he plans to maneuver on to Dubai however has already introduced he’ll forgo the Miami Masters. Presently ranked Quantity 5, he can afford to do this because the luckiest beneficiary of the non permanent rating system. That mentioned, he is aware of his luck won’t final eternally, however along with his two best rivals prone to be on the sidelines, he can have a greater look than anticipated at getting his ft moist hopefully getting the ball rolling early.
Just like Federer, Andy Murray is trying to climb his method again up the ranks. Regardless of being ranked exterior of the High 100 and the stiff problem that comes from getting back from a hip substitute, Murray is decided to make a go of it. He bowed out early this week in Rotterdam, besides, there have been loads of positives to take from the exit. He had a pleasant comeback in opposition to Robin Haase in his opener, and he performed Andrey Rublev exceptionally shut within the first set. On condition that Rublev has been one of many hottest gamers on tour the previous few months and a person many consider – Murray included – is destined for a protracted keep on the high, it was a great effort from the previous Quantity 1. Once more, like Federer, he’s going to want time to faucet into his finest type, however the alternatives needs to be there for him.
Lastly, the participant undoubtedly hungriest to make the most of any hiatus from Djokovic and Nadal is Daniil Medvedev. He’s more and more wanting just like the chief of his technology after reaching his second main remaining final month in Melbourne. He’s tantalizingly near Nadal within the rankings, and if he may put collectively a great run or two within the coming weeks, he may simply overtake the Spaniard. Extra importantly for him, nonetheless, is the chance to regain some confidence and momentum. Though the primary set was aggressive, the last word one-sided nature of his loss to Djokovic within the Australian Open Last was stunning. Medvedev went into that match with a lot going for him that there have been many that truly thought he is perhaps the person to beat in that championship, so to have misplaced it within the method that he did needed to have been an enormous disappointment. His try to get proper again on the horse once more didn’t pan out both, as he misplaced his opening match this week in Rotterdam. Whereas he’s unlikely to be somebody headed for an elongated downward spiral, he does have to get again on the profitable path, ideally earlier than he subsequent faces Djokovic or Nadal. Discovering a approach to get these victories below his belt earlier than shifting on to the clay could be simply what the physician ordered.
These are just a few of the boys in motion within the weeks to return, and every supplies loads of meals for thought. However even with Djokovic and Nadal apt to be absent, there’s a multitude of gifted challengers in the remainder of the sector, who may additionally profit from the remaining spring hard- courtroom season. The one certainty is that every one shall be making an attempt his finest to jockey for essentially the most favorable place earlier than heading to the clay.