Tennis Talk – April 2020

Although professional tennis competition has ground to a halt worldwide, tennis fans can still connect with their favourite players from the ATP and WTA tours – albeit virtually. Some of our favourite Canadian tennis stars have joined the likes of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in sharing their personal quarantine experiences and providing tennis-related entertainment we can all enjoy from our homes.

From the best of the best chatting it up on Instagram, weekly Tennis United episodes on YouTube, to the Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro competition, there’s plenty for tennis fans to sink their teeth in to.

Federer, Nadal and Novak Djokovic are among those who have kept us entertained with conversations on Instagram Live – giving us a peek in to how they have been keeping busy. We also got firsthand updates from Federer and Andy Murray on recovering from surgery and the challenges of homeschooling their youngsters!

Vancouver’s own Vasek Pospisil is back home in B.C. and bringing us interactive weekly YouTube videos with Bethanie Mattek-Sands called Tennis United. With three episodes to date, Pospisil and Mattek-Sands take us around the world by chatting with WTA and ATP athletes, sharing hilarious challenges, playing games, going through a social media roundup and more. Tennis United is the best one-stop shop to stay up to date with your favourite tennis players and tennis enthusiasts around the world.

We also finally have some live tennis competition! The Mutua Madrid Open will be taking place this year… but with a virtual twist. Sixteen top WTA players and sixteen top ATP players are battling it through the video game Tennis World Tour on PS4. Alongside the competition is a €50,000 donation to the Madrid Food Bank and a €300,000 total purse from which the winners can donate to tennis players currently suffering economically. Streamed on the Madrid Open Facebook page from April 27-30, four groups of four compete in round-robin qualifying groups with the top two players in each group advancing to a knockout quarter-final draw. We can’t wait to see Nadal, Murray, Denis Shapovalov, Bianca Andreescu and Eugenie Bouchard test their gaming skills against the tennis world’s elite.

We have been immersing ourselves in this new virtual tennis world. We hope it provides you with a bit of tennis entertainment as well!

By Aneesa Heatherington