'Job hunting': Tennis players expose brutal reality of coronavirus shutdown

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor

The suspension of the professional tennis tours has forced players to get creative as they look for work.

Tennis players could be hit hardest by the coronavirus crisis - particularly those without large sponsorship deals - as they earn their income from prize money.

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But without any tennis being played for the next six weeks there’s no prize money to earn.

Alex de Minaur is among tennis players looking for work. Image: Getty/Instagram

The ATP announced on Thursday it had suspended its professional men's tennis tour for six weeks, citing concerns over the coronavirus outbreak which has upended major sporting events across the globe.

The announcement came moments after Miami-Dade County said it would suspend the Miami Open and on the heels of Sunday's last-minute cancellation of the Indian Wells tournament in Southern California.

Without any tennis to play, Aussie star Alex de Minaur took to social media to show himself ‘job hunting’.

“Yep I’ve lost it,” he wrote alongside a photo himself.

Young American player Sachia Vickery even posted her resume online.

While Noah Rubin and Jonny O’Mara were among those to seek out interest in tennis lessons.

French player Jeremy Chardy spoke out about the uncertainty of the shutdown and what it means for players.

“I no longer know, actually, if I am unemployed, on paternity leave, or a tennis player,” he told L’Equipe.

“Many players want to talk about it. It's not our fault what's going on. If many tournaments are cancelled, it can be difficult if you're not an employee. And for ATP points, it can also be complicated.”

Serena Williams living in ‘solitude’

Serena Williams hasn’t contracted COVID-19, but she isn’t going to be taking any chances.

The tennis great shared on Instagram on Friday morning that she would be spending the “next six weeks in solitude” in order to protect herself and her family from the coronavirus pandemic.

“Spending the next six weeks in solitude,” Williams wrote with a video of her doing her makeup.

“Being a wife. Being a mom. Cooking. Cleaning. Spring cleaning. Face mask. Makeup tutorials. I’ll let you know how it goes … Stay safe everyone. This is serious.”

The decision to shut down the tour was not taken lightly, ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said in a statement, adding that the suspension represents a great loss for players and fans.

“We believe this is the responsible action needed at this time in order to protect the health and safety of our players, staff, the wider tennis community and general public health in the face of this global pandemic,” he said.

Impacted events include the Clay Court Championships in Houston, the Grand Prix Hassan II in Marrakech, the Monte-Carlo Masters, the Barcelona Open and the Hungarian Open.

with AAP