We interviewed Marcello Marchesini, director of the Tennis Club Todi 1971, home of the upcoming Italian Tennis Championships, an event that had been missing for years, and which will see the presence of many Italian players.
Marchesini talked about the recovery of tennis and the precautions, of the domination of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic and of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia. The Italian Tennis Championships will begin on June 20 in Todi, in Umbria and it will be an opportunity to test the come back to the court after months of stop due to the global pandemic.
Tennis Club Todi 1971 will host the new edition of the Italian Tennis Championships: can the event be considered as the general restart of post-Covid19 pandemic?
The forced stop imposed by Covid-19 was initially a serious hit for everyone.
Working for 13 years in the organization of tournaments of the ATP Challenger Tour and having six tournaments in Italy scheduled for 2020, I admit that I feared the impossibility of being able to reschedule professional tournaments at an international level.
But from the worst difficulties great opportunities can arise: hence the idea of bringing professional tennis back on stage through a national Tour of tournaments that has materialized today with the MEF Tennis Tour.
Thanks to the support of the Italian Tennis Federation, it was possible to bring this prestigious back to life, obviously with the due precautions that post-Covid19 imposes on us. What preventive measures will be implemented to minimize the risk of infection?
The health and safety of players, staff and fans is our priority.
All Tournaments on the Tour, including the Italian Tennis Championships, will follow the protocol of the Italian Tennis Federation and government guidelines. Social distancing will be guaranteed by the size of the outdoor spaces.
The use of masks and sanitizing gels will be mandatory within the club. Athletes will be given a Welcome Kit which will include masks, gloves and personal towels. Staff will work safely thanks to the use of masks and plexiglass panels.
Marchesini talked about Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Jannik Sinner
Let’s talk about the protagonists: from whom do you expect to see a race rhythm and an athletic condition ready to go back to competing? Will the absence of Fognini be important?
Since the lockdown started, I have been in daily contact with many Italian players.
Being professionals, they never stopped training, certainly at a much slower pace. Now they are intensifying the work and it is normal that at this stage they feel physical pain, for this reason, in agreement with many of them, we decided to play the third set with the 10 point tie-break mode in all games up to the quarterfinals.
As for the Entry List, I am not worried about any absences. Fortunately, Italian tennis is experiencing a moment of great luck with 8 tennis players in the top-100 of the ATP ranking but above all many young people on the rise.
How do you see tennis after pandemic: will Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal still dominate?
This forced stop will most likely break the order of world tennis governed by the Big Three Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.
Inevitably this stop will accelerate the rise of the many young players who already occupy the top positions of the ranking, who may have kept the pace of training high and consequently be more prepared when the Tour resumes.
Where do you think Jannik Sinner can go?
Jannik is a great talent, I don’t know where he will go. As we know, in tennis continuity is important. Making predictions is difficult and premature and perhaps this stop will also give answers on this question.
Of course, I hope he wins a Slam as soon as possible, but I would be delighted if he entered the top-20 in two years. Internazionali BNL d’Italia: in your opinion, how many chances are there for the 2020 edition to take place?
The Italian Open is a beautiful event.
Although it is not easy to make predictions in this flexible time, I believe there are good chances. In any case, although with the reopening of airports and individual professional competitions there are all the prerequisites for staging the 2020 edition, I can perfectly understand the organizational difficulties that the current situation entails. Pic by Marta Magni