Tennis is being one of the major victims of this coronavirus crisis in the world of sport due to the break in competition, at least until mid-July. Toledo Feliciano López, already in the final stretch of his professional career, he exclusively attends the newspaper SPORT to tell us how he is living this delicate situation.
04/05/2020 at 08:27
First of all, how is your family?
Luckily we are well, healthy despite the fact that my mother tested positive a week ago but she is recovering thanks to God. It is a very painful situation for so many families and in one way or another it affects everyone.
How do you manage confinement time?
With patience, there is no other. I try to fill the day as best I can and follow some basic routines to keep myself in good physical and mental shape. I also try to make the most of being at home, unusual in the life of a tennis player.
What do you miss the most?
Rather than missing something in particular, what saddens me is the general situation that affects so many people in Spain and the rest of the world. Behind each person affected is a personal and family drama.
Madrid is one of the most important foci of coronavirus. For when do you see the end of the tunnel?
I could not tell you, because at the moment it is very difficult to see an exit due to the severity of the crisis and the very surreal numbers of those affected. But it is true that you are beginning to see a small change in trend that gives us hope to think that in a few weeks we can beat the virus.
Initiatives like those of Pau Gasol and Rafa Nadal demonstrate their power and sport to transmit values
How do you value initiatives like those of Rafa Nadal and Pau Gasol to obtain resources for the Red Cross that you have joined?
They are super positive initiatives that demonstrate the power of sport and figures as great as Rafa and Pau to transmit values of solidarity, commitment, teamwork and improvement.
Many tennis players end the tennis season. What do you think?
We will have to see how the crisis evolves and if there really is an opportunity to reprimand the circuit. But the reality is that tennis is a very unique sport due to the global nature of the circuit. Therefore, it is very difficult for the world to return to normality in a short period of time and allow international tournaments to be held with the participation of players from the five continents without restrictions on travel, etc. & mldr;
The cancellation of the Mutua Madrid Open was very painful but inevitable
Being its director, how did you experience the ‘forced’ cancellation of the Mutua Madrid Open? Difficult to assimilate?
The truth is that we did not have any option to play this year due to the coronavirus crisis. We see what is happening in Madrid right now and none of us could think of holding a tennis tournament. It was a painful decision because the entire team of tournament staff works hard all year to provide fans with the opportunity to enjoy the best tennis but I think that in these circumstances tennis and any other recreational and entertainment activity stays in a second. place
It was also the 20th anniversary. A special edition. What did you have prepared to celebrate this anniversary?
We had quite a few surprises in store but we will keep you undercover for next year & mldr;
What economic and emotional losses does a decision like this entail?
Many and large at both levels but as I say that is in the background right now
The cancellation of Wimbledon was announced this Wednesday. These are already major words being in addition from June 29 to July 13.
Indeed, Wimbledon is the oldest and most prestigious tournament in the world and its cancellation has dealt a severe blow to our sport. But not even such a popular event of the magnitude of Wimbledon can be kept out of the global crisis.
The postponement of Roland Garros to September has raised many blisters
What do you think of the change of dates of Roland Garros last September, which hurts other tournaments such as the Laver Cup?
It is a decision that has raised many blisters in the world of tennis. They have thought about giving themselves the best option that can be held and that is legal, of course, but it is an example of the multiple and diverse interests that govern our sport. Too bad we can’t all go to one even at this time.
How do you think the tennis landscape will change after this crisis caused by the coronavirus. At an economic level, at an organizational level & mldr;
It will surely change many things because a crisis of this caliber leaves no one the same. The tennis industry must reflect and try to evolve in every way to adapt to these types of situations, but as I said before, the professional tennis circuit is perhaps the most global sport and that has a number of advantages but other disadvantages such as be affected by a pandemic like
Do you think many things will have to be reconsidered?
It will be necessary to make an in-depth analysis in each of the areas and actors that make up this sports industry, but above all we should reflect as a society and as individuals on the way we live and how we should live to be more fair, supportive and respectful towards each other. the others.
We must give importance to what really has it
Will this crisis change us all?
It is not that I have high hopes that the world will change, but at least I do hope that it will remove consciences and ways of understanding life on an individual and collective level. We must give importance to what really has it and never get back on a train at full speed and without stopping that leads us to make the same mistakes.
Do you think the dominance of the Big Three will continue in 2021?
With each passing year it is more difficult for the most veteran to stay on top, but they certainly have the quality to continue leading the circuit and fighting for the big tournaments. Another thing is regularity, which obviously at some point at some point the youngest will have to take the alternative.
Which ‘Next Gen’ players do you see most reliable?
He has been talking a lot about the ‘Next Gen’ but we should define which players we are talking about because Thiem is not the same as he is young but has much more experience than for example Felix Auger-Aliassime. There are players like the aforementioned and Zverez, Tsitsipas or Shapovalov who will surely give a lot to talk about and will have opportunities to win Grand Slams in the coming years. But nowadays there is still no one in particular who will dominate the circuit. It is very unlikely that a generation like the current one of the BIG 3 will happen again, I see more several players sharing the glory.
Does your personal situation change with the postponements and cancellations of these tournaments?
More than change, it disrupts plans and immediate illusions such as the recently canceled grass tour that for me is always the most awaited moment of the year. But I will try to be patient and ready for when we can compete again.
If the physicist allows it, I still want and hope to continue competing
At 38 years old, can this precipitate your final withdrawal?
No, I hope not. If the physicist allows it, I still want and hope to continue competing.
How do you imagine your life without high competition?
I imagine her at a different pace and with more calm and time to enjoy so many things that my profession has not allowed me to do all these years. I will enjoy my family, friends and face new challenges, but somehow or other I will always be connected with tennis, through my role as director of the Mutua Madrid Open and other projects that are linked to this wonderful sport.
Will you still feel like a lucky man?
Definitely. I have been fortunate to be able to dedicate myself to the sport that I love and that is my passion. It is a fantastic stage in my life with a lot of sacrifice but I still enjoy it a lot. But when the lights of the professional circuit are turned off, other equal and better ones will light up, such as raising a family.
Do you plan to be parents in the near future?
I have always said that we would love to have children and when that moment comes it will fill us with happiness.
You are happy?
I am happy and I feel very lucky of what I have. I thank God for getting up every day and feeling that I have a wife, family, friends who I love and love me.