Novak Djokovic, Dominic Thiem lead list of players returning to training
- Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem are among a long list of stars who have resumed on-court training this week.
- Wawrinka, Monfils, Auger-Aliassime & Fognini have joined the World No. 1 and World No. 3 in hitting the practice court.
Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem are among a bevy of tennis stars who have resumed on-court training, as many European countries have started gradually easing the lockdown restrictions enforced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In what may well be the new normal in the post-coronavirus world, the players have provided glimpses of their training regimen on social media adhering to guidelines set by the WHO and local governments.
Novak Djokovic, who stirred up a controversy earlier this month by posting a short video of himself training when the lockdown hadn't yet been lifted, would have been relieved to resume full training in Marbella (Spain) post the easing of restrictions. The Serb posted a slow-motion video clip yesterday, where he was seen attempting a perfect claycourt slide.
Much like his Australian Open final opponent, Austrian star Dominic Thiem set the ball rolling on clay and posted a picture of himself with the caption - "Forehand is coming back". Thiem, who lost to Novak Djokovic in a grueling five-set Melbourne final, has been quite active in the past week; he even ran for a charity event to raise funds for spinal cord research.
However, Dominic Thiem has also been in the news for a few unsavory reasons. Last month he voiced opposition to the mandatory nature of the player relief fund proposed by Novak Djokovic, for which he was roundly criticized by fans as well as fellow players.
Stan Wawrinka and Gael Monfils follow Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem by hitting the practice court
Swiss Number 2 Stan Wawrinka, a three-time Grand Slam champion, posted a picture on his Instagram handle wearing a signature "Stan the Man" tee. Wawrinka has been making sure he has adequate supply of hand sanitizer, but he also showed his witty side by adding the caption - "All this time off and I’ve forgotten how to play tennis .... can anyone remind me ??"
Evergreen entertainer - Frenchman Gael Monfils - made it a point to emphasize that the lockdown has in no way slowed down his athletic brilliance. The official ATP Tour Twitter handle posted a short video of the flamboyant Frenchman practising some of his trademark shots.
World No. 11 Fabio Fognini of Italy also hit the ground running, posting a picture himself holding his racquet and giving the thumbs up sign.
Meanwhile, rising Canadian #NextGenATP star Felix Auger-Aliassime, who has been camping in France, resumed training at the famed Patrick Mouratoglou Academy. The teenager won much appreciation when he recently donated the proceeds from the sale of his autographed racquet to help needy Quebecois people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although ATP has extended the tour suspension through to July 31st, the fans would be hoping that tennis stars from around the world continue to entertain them with their social media posts. And with World No. 1 Novak Djokovic leading the way, that is more than likely.