Chai With Raja : Episode 3 – “Coronavirus”

On the heels of “Sundays With Purav”, “Chai With Raja” talks about topics more privy to Indian Tennis. “Chai With Raja” is a 7 part series coming your way to make your next seven Sundays exciting

Read the first two episodes here –
Episode 1 – Davis Cup
Episode 2Roberto Bautista Agut

While the tennis world is on lockdown, all of us have our bags packed and suitcases ready. The only problem is there is nowhere to go. Some people say it’s a blessing in disguise and time at home is scarce. However, there is a twitch running through my spine, making me believe I have a flight very shortly. I have done this for 10 years and can safely say that this is the trickiest time for the ATP and the players.

Tennis rankings work on a 52 week yearly cycle. So if I made 10 points in the week of March 16th, 2019 – I will have to defend those 10 points in the week of March 16th, 2020. If I make zero points, I will lose the 10 from last year and hence my ranking drops. If i make 25 points, I get a plus 15 which pushes my ranking up. Now think about this in context to calling six weeks off on tour. How would you adjust the rankings to make it a clear non-biased process?

One of the options is to freeze the rankings and this would make sense. However, why should a  player get longer to defend his points(58/60 weeks) or not defend them at all this year, when the other player has to defend all his points on a yearly 52 week to week cycle.

The other option is that everyone loses points and we start when we start it’s based on the players rankings as of that week. This, however, maybe unfair as the players who have done well have not had a chance to defend and play their favored events which they have done well at last year. For example, if Nadal doesn’t get a chance to play the clay court season due to the pandemic, is it fair that he drops to world number 5?

The last option, and probably the most logical one, is to take a protected ranking for everyone. This is the same as if you have an injury. The ATP then works out a mathematical method to calculate your six month average ranking. What would you do if you were the ATP?

All this and more has created heavy pandemonium in the sporting community. Each sport has countless issues and the sporting world is definitely at an all time low. The underlying message seems to be it is better to be safe than sorry. That said, being a part of the sports fraternity, I can guarantee that if there is anyone that knows how to overcome adversity – it is definitely us!

Finally, all this will give us plenty more time to introspect and maybe the real underlying message is from the almighty whispering – ‘’Sports is great but at the end of the day : All You Have Is Your FAMILY’’

Impossible is nothing!

Stay safe and healthy.

Thank you,
Purav Raja

Indian Wells tennis tournament with a 'tennis event cancelled' sign outside after it was called off due to Coronavirus
Sign flashes outside the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in California on March 9, 2020 (Credits – Getty)


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