Tennis player Djokovic gets COVID-19

This 23 June 2020 ABC Australia TV video says about itself:

Novak Djokovic tests positive to COVID-19

The World No. 1 tennis star is the fourth player to contract the virus while taking part in a charity event he organised. The Adria tour has drawn criticism for going ahead amid the coronavirus pandemic, without adequate physical distancing measures in place.

COVID-19 US Open tennis, without Nadal

This 2019 tennis video is called Rafael Nadal – 20 Shots That Will Make You Say WOW!

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the professional tennis circuit has been shut down. After Roland Garros was moved to September and Wimbledon was canceled, the organization of the US Open announced last week that the grand slam tournament in New York will continue on the normal date. …

The question is how many players dare to travel to the United States which is badly hit by coronavirus? The professional circuit will start again in early August, culminating in the US Open from August 31 to September 13. …

It’s an industry with a lot of money …

Many players have already said that they do not feel like playing at the US Open for various reasons. Among them Simona Halep, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. Roger Federer will no longer play this year due to a knee injury.

[Dutch tennis commentator Marcella] Mesker: “Nadal is actually a coward.”

No, Ms Mesker, Nadal is more of a hero than a coward! He refuses to play Russian roulette with the health and lives of himself, other players, umpires, ball boys, ball girls and their contacts. Russian roulette in New York City, where COVID-19 dead are dumped into mass graves and vans with 100 decomposing dead bodies were found.

Dutch Kiki Bertens is not sure yet whether she will play at the US Open. She doubts it.

Also translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

Tennis players Grigor Dimitrov and Borna Coric have been infected with the coronavirus. The Bulgarian, number nineteen in the world rankings, and the Croat, number 33, have announced this on social media.

Grigor Dimitrov on coronavirus

Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev, the world’s number three and seven, also took part in the Adria tour.

Where it turned out that Grigor Dimitrov and Borna Coric were infected.

UPDATE: another tennis player infected: Viktor Troicki.

Also, five players of Red Star Belgrade football team turn out to have COVID-19.

Tennis player Coco Gauff, next police target?

This 30 January 2020 video from Australia says about itself:

Some of Coco Gauff‘s best shots during Australian Open 2020, before losing in the fourth round to Sofia Kenin.

Translated from Belga news agency in Belgium today, by Vincent Van Genechten, about the USA:

Tennis talent Coco Gauff after George Floyd’s death: “Am I next?”

George Floyd’s death from police violence in Minneapolis also upsets tennis sensation Coco Gauff. On the social medium TikTok she put a video in which she (tacitly) asks if she will be the next victim.

In the short film, the only 16-year-old Gauff wears a black hoodie and does not say a word. She looks directly into the camera and the message appears: “That’s why I use my voice to denounce racism.” After that, photos are shown of Floyd and other black people who died as a result of violence by white police officers. At the end of the video, Gauff puts his hands in the air and then follows the message: “Am I next?”

Gauff, the sensation at Wimbledon last year where she knocked out Venus Williams and made it to the eighth-finals, isn’t the first black sports star to protest police brutality in the United States. NBA basketball stars LeBron James and Magic Johnson and former NFL American football player Colin Kaepernick (who knelt first during the national anthem in protest) have already sent similar messages.

Just like former NBA player Stephen Jackson, who knew Floyd well:

Online Madrid Open tennis tournament, 27-30 April

This 7 April 2020 virtual game video is called Rafael Nadal vs. Lucas Pouille Tennis World Tour Online.

Now that there is hardly any sport in the open air because of the coronavirus crisis, there are online matches in several sports.

I heard before of horse racing. And of cycling (where, contrary to open-air cycling, you cannot fall because of a slippery road. But where Australian Michael Matthews had to stop during the Tour of Flanders because of a home trainer problem), And triathlon (where the Australian women’s champion Mirinda Carfrae lost because her husband stepped on the electric wire of her home trainer when she cycled). And darts.

This 26 April 2020 video is called Phil Taylor v Raymond van Barneveld – Charity Darts from Home in support of NHS Heroes.

And now, there is tennis.

From, 9 April 2020:

Three days after officially announcing the creation of the Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro, the tournament’s organisers have confirmed the participation of the first two players in the ATP draw: Andy Murray and Lucas Pouille.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has prevented the 2020 Mutua Madrid Open from taking place from 1 to 10 May and forced the ATP and WTA to postpone all activity on their tours until 13 July, tournament organisers have announced the creation of the Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro, an innovative tournament that will be a virtual replica of the tennis competition, with the world’s biggest tennis stars competing from their own homes. The news means that the biggest ATP and WTA stars will clash in the Manolo Santana Stadium, recreated in exquisite detail in the Tennis World Tour video game, while swapping their racquets for a game controller.

Former World No. 1 and three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray has won 46 tour-level titles in his career, including two trophies from the Mutua Madrid Open (2008, 2015). Lucas Pouille, a 5-time ATP Tour titlist, will also compete in the pioneering online competition. The Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro will take place from 27 to 30 April in a show of solidarity to raise money and help the tennis players most in need during this time, all those that have no income to help them through these months of inactivity and those affected by COVID-19.

“This is going to be a very exciting challenge,” said Pouille. “I’ve already started training because I want to win this tournament against my tennis peers as I know they play a lot. Thank you to the Mutua Madrid Open for this great initiative.”

Both tournaments (ATP and WTA) will include a purse of €150,000, from which the winners will be able to decide on how much they donate to the tennis players currently suffering economically, and an additional €50,000 that will all go towards reducing the social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The format for the ATP and WTA Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro competitions will be as follows: 16 singles players will be divided into four groups. The champion of each group will progress to the quarter-finals, which will also include the runner-up of each group. From there, the tournaments will be played as knock-out events. In addition, in parallel with the official competition, there will be a series of benefit matches that will see some of the biggest content creators in the gaming world take on the professional tennis players to raise funds to help those affected by COVID-19.

All fans will be able to follow the tournament online, on television and on the Mutua Madrid Open’s social media, with a spectacular production that will include commentary on all the matches, analysis and highlights programmes and interviews with the winners after each match.

The organisers of the Mutua Madrid Open will soon reveal the remaining participants, as well as other news of the competition.

Today, Dutch NOS radio reports that Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Angelique Kerber and John Isner will participate; from their homes, like the others. So will Carla Suarez Navarro. Last year’s Madrid Open women’s champion, Kiki Bertens, will play at home on a PlayStation as well.

Ms Bertens says that she will have to practice, as she is new to Tennis World Tour Online software.

There are virtual F1 races, basketball and baseball matches as well. Virtual football match: here.

Bushfire smoke pollutes Australian Open tennis

This 14 January 2020 video says about itself:

Slovenian tennis player Dalila Jakupović has been forced to retire during her qualifying match at the Australian Open after suffering from severe coughing fits. The poor air quality in Melbourne already delayed the start of the qualifying rounds as smoke from surrounding bushfires smothered the city. Jakupović claimed the first set 6-4 against Swiss player Stefanie Vögele and looked likely to secure the second but collapsed on court before retiring,

Dutch NOS radio reports that Ms Jakupović cried as she had to give up because of the global warming bushfires. Many other players also complained about the foul air.

GERMAN engineering giant Siemens said today that it would continue infrastructure work on a coal mine in Australia despite protests from climate change activists: here.

London Wimbledon bosses ban Jeremy Corbyn chanting

This satiric 3 July 2017 video from Wimbledon tennis court in London, England says about itself:


Actually, it is video of decades ago at Wimbledon, when it rained, there was no tennis and Sir Cliff Richard started singing; with the sound of recent pro-Jeremy Corbyn chanting superimposed.

The satire is because of what this 4 July 2017 video from the USA says:

Wimbledon Issues Ban On Chanting “Jeremy Corbyn“!

From daily The Independent in Britain:

The Corbyn chant was sung by supporters of the [rugby] British and Irish Lions during their game with New Zealand on Saturday [1 July 2017] morning, indicating that this could be a trend beyond Glastonbury. …

Although it is rare, Wimbledon isn’t a stranger to political protests. In 2011 the Spanish anti-austerity 15-M movement were prevented from making a protest during a Rafael Nadal match and in 2016 David Cameron was greeted by boos after Andy Murray acknowledged the former Prime Minister during his victory speech.

Tellingly, the Wimbledon bigwigs, mainly Conservatives, I suspect, have not banned chants supporting wobbly Tory Prime Minister Theresa May. Maybe also because very few, if any, people would think of chanting in support of May. After Ms May’s disastrous austerity policies, disastrous election campaign, disastrous reaction to the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy, disastrous coalition with Irish terrorist homophobes, to whom she gave her magic money tree loot, even many people who have voted Conservative all their lives are thinking seriously about never doing that again. And Tory politicians who at the moment still say in public that they support Theresa May 100% are meanwhile, out of sight of the public, quarreling behind her back whether they should stab her in the back in a few days’ time, a few weeks’ time, or a few months’ time.

The Wimbledon situation reminds me of Brazil. At the recent Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, spectators booed Brazilian coup president Temer at the opening ceremony. So, Temer did not dare to go to the closing ceremony. A bit later, he was booed by spectators of the Paralymics; where tickets were cheaper, so that also some not so well of Brazilians could afford them.

More Paralympics TV viewers

This video says about itself:

Dutch paralympic tennis player Esther Vergeer talks to Erin McLaughlin about the rising popularity of paralympic sports.

Translated from Dutch news agency ANP:

Dutch NOS TV looks back contentedly on the broadcasts about the Paralympic Games. Their daily Paralympic magazine on Netherlands 1 TV averaged nearly 650,000 viewers. This is a doubling of the figures of the games of four years ago, says the broadcaster.

“Our biggest compliment is the criticism that we actually should have broadcast more of the Paralympic Games” says NOS director Jan de Jong.

Wimbledon tennis hawk stolen

This video from the USA is called Harris’s Hawks vs. Jackrabbit.

From Sky News in England:

Wimbledon Hawk Rufus Snatched From Car

Police appeal for information after the Harrier Hawk used to scare pigeons at SW19 is stolen.

4:56pm UK, Saturday 30 June 2012

The hawk that patrols Wimbledon’s tennis courts to frighten away pigeons has been stolen.

Detectives are investigating the theft of Rufus, a Harrier Hawk

No, Sky News. A Harris’s hawk, originally from North America.

A Harrier Hawk is a bird from Africa.

, who was taken overnight on Thursday and Friday from a car parked outside the home of his owner.

A police spokesman said the car was parked on a private drive in Dunstall Road, with the rear window open for ventilation, when the thieves struck.

The hawk, which deters pigeons at the All England Club simply through his presence, is also a family pet.

“The family has become very attached to the bird who is now four-and-a-half years old,” the police spokesman said.

“They are distressed over the theft and are appealing for help to recover the bird.”

Owner Imogen Davis, 25, said her family are in shock after Rufus’s disappearance.

“It’s really, really sad,” she said. “He was taken in his travelling box, which is where he sleeps because it’s nice and dark and cool and he can fall asleep in there.

“We’re very, very shocked, we just want to know he’s okay.”

She said they reared four-year-old Rufus as part of the family-run business Avian Environmental Consultants.

“We work as a team together. To have him taken away like that is just horrible,” she added.

“It’s a family business, the birds are brought up around us. They’re part of the family. It’s just the way it is.”

Ms Davis said she originally thought it was a prank, but was not sure as a falconry glove and falconry hood were stolen at the same time.

“Initially I was almost hoping that it was a prank because there was more possibility of us getting him back, and somebody would realise it was a stupid thing to do,” she said.

“But because the hood and the glove were taken, I’m not sure. I suppose at least it means he’s been looked after.”

Rufus has become a well-known fixture at the south-west London club, with visitors often stopping to ask for photos with the hawk and even tennis stars, including former champion Richard Krajicek, tweeting pictures of him.

Tennis ball homes for harvest mice

This is a harvest mouse video.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Mice find new homes in old tennis balls

Monday 21 June 2010

Tennis balls won’t just be be flying around Centre Court at Wimbledon – but also at Slimbridge Wetland Centre in Gloucestershire, where harvest mice have taken up residence.

Conservationists hope the old balls will make perfect nest houses to boost numbers living at the centre.

They have been put in an area of the centre for mammals called Back From The Brink.

Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust mammal manager John Crooks said: “We are hoping it will be a case of game, set and mouse.

“I have cut small penny-sized holes in the balls and put straw inside and they seem to be taking very well to them.

“We have about 30 in our collection here and we are hoping that the tennis balls will make them feel secure so that they breed well this year.”