ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 07: John Millman of Australia during the Davis Cup Qualifier singles match between John Millman of Australia and Thiago Monteiro of Brazil at Memorial Drive on March 07, 2020 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 07: John Millman of Australia during the Davis Cup Qualifier singles match between John Millman of Australia and Thiago Monteiro of Brazil at Memorial Drive on March 07, 2020 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

Millman: ‘We won’t get back on court until 2021’

John Millman may have dodged the coronavirus, but he's still resigned to not playing again this year.

Millman fears the global nature of his sport will leave it almost impossible for the respective men's and women's tours to reset again in 2020.

"We're going to have to be pretty unified in terms of our recovery process before the tour can resume," Millman said.

 

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"Maybe the tournament location has got the COVID-19 situation under wraps and then manage to contain it, but if someone's flying in from South America, say, and their country hasn't got a hold of it, then the tournament can't (go ahead).

"You can't have the tournament going when only certain players can get there. I think that's where the problems lie.

"It's almost like we have to have a vaccine or the virus has to run its course before there'll be any let-up there."

Meanwhile, if anyone in Brisbane has a tennis court in their backyard and is feeling generous, give Millman a call.

The popular Queenslander is desperately trying to keep his "eye in" but is finding it increasingly difficult following the closure of Queensland Tennis Centre and a host of other courts due to the coronavirus crisis.

John Millman says a 2020 reset would be very hard for the respective tennis tours.
John Millman says a 2020 reset would be very hard for the respective tennis tours.

 

Fearing a total lockdown is just around the corner, Millman is keen for an immediate hit - preferably on a hardcourt - to stay sharp while the ATP Tour is shut down.

"In Queensland we don't really have too many tennis centres or public courts anymore," world No.43 Millman said.

"Trying to find a couple of private courts here and there, it's very tricky.

"If one of the neighbours over at Hawthorne do have a court, please let me know because I'd love to use it.

"Hardcourt's the way to go. Whenever the tour resumes, I have a feeling it's going to be on hardcourt, whether it's end of next year or start of next year."

"But people's health is a lot more important than tennis - I do want to stress that."

 

Millman serves against Thiago Monteiro in Adelaide.
Millman serves against Thiago Monteiro in Adelaide.

An opponent of Millman at a Davis Cup tie in Adelaide this month - Brazilian player Thiago Seyboth Wild - has tested positive to coronavirus.

However, Millman has not been tested for the virus and is showing no symptoms.

"I've spoken to Thiago Monteiro who I played second up in Adelaide, and none of the other Brazilian players who spent the best part of a week with him (Wild) have shown any type of symptoms at all," Millman said.

"I also spoke to the Davis Cup doctor also and he's pretty confident as well.

"It would have to be the smallest crossover timeline. Wild probably didn't carry it when he was playing Davis Cup, and it's now been about 20 days since I played him.

Monteiro has tested positive to the coronavirus.
Monteiro has tested positive to the coronavirus.

"Since then I flew to the (United) States, went to Indian Wells, was there for a while, came back home and I've been in pretty good health.

"Chances are he (Wild) didn't have it when he was in Adelaide."

With the ATP Tour suspended until at least June 7, Millman said the biggest challenge most players would face during the layoff was to remain mentally strong.

"The big thing is to stay motivated, and stay present, because it's pretty easy to get a little bit despondent and it is easy to lose track of the bigger picture," he said.

"The toughest thing for tennis players is that uncertainty - we don't know then the tour will resume.

 

John Millman at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
John Millman at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

 

"I'm a pretty positive and optimistic person but most of the tennis players I talk to are resigned to the fact that it's going to be a lot later (than June 7).

"I get the feeling it's going to be really tough to play tennis for a long time, whether it even be for the rest of the calendar year."

The postponement of this year's Tokyo Olympics until 2021 has left Millman disappointed but also adamant the correct decision was made to defer the event.

"Ever since Rio (the 2016 Olympics), the 2020 Tokyo Olympics was something I was really hoping to have put myself into a rankings position to have qualified for, and it looks like I was tracking pretty well to qualify for Tokyo 2020," he said.

"I can just hope I'm fit and healthy and my ranking's in a good spot next year to try to qualify for it.

"There are bigger things than tennis, but when it is your livelihood, you do miss it."

Originally published as Millman: 'We won't get back on court until 2021'


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