Tennis NRS: players follow agents follow money
This week, as the spring weather begins making short, occasional visits to northern parts of the country, we continue to look ahead to anything we can on the tennis horizon. The US Open is on all of our minds, and murmurs of late-fall schedule changes keep alive a sliver of hope that we might be able to sneak in a trip to Palm Springs. Meanwhile, a leading sports agent talks us through the money on tour, while Coco Gauff might be leaving her agent to follow the money.
A Slam in the desert: now with more legitimate sources
The potential of relocating this years US Open continues to grow. Michael Dowse, the United States Tennis Association’s executive director, has stated in an interview with Inside Tennis that “nothing is off the table” in regards to moving the US Open to Indian Wells. Dowse also made it clear that his number-one priority is holding the event, regardless of location or stadium occupancy. A large section of support for the move is related to California’s expectation to lift their stay-at-home order within the next week. The move would also help the local Coachella Valley economy, which lost approximately $400 million in tourism revenue when the BNP Paribas Open was cancelled on March 8th, 2020.
There’s also another potential path to getting back to the desert. The US Open could either take place with or without fans during its regularly scheduled time. Other ATP and WTA Tour events that were cancelled could then look to reschedule their events for the favorable late-fall weather in Indian Wells.
The social distancing sport
As the world begins to reopen, many sports fans have begun to wonder what the time frame will be in returning to their favorite activities. Tennis fans, however, are realizing that their sport may be set up for a return earlier then most as COVID-19 isolation procedures are loosened. USTA executive director Michael Dowse (mentioned earlier) even went as far as to say that “[tennis] is conductive to social distancing.” The biggest isolation factor is that participants in a standard singles tennis match are at least 60 feet away from one another when playing. Furthermore, the USTA has suggested ways to make tennis safer than normal. Procedures include eliminating changeovers and utilizing six balls instead of the usual three.
Who makes money in tennis—and how?
Ever wonder how deals come together for some of your favorite tennis stars? Topnotch Management agent James Beres pulls back the curtain a bit on the sports sponsorship landscape in a revealing conversation with Tim Newcombe at Forbes.
Coco follows Serena
In other agency news, it has been suggested that teen standout and future goldmine Coco Gauff is preparing to leave Roger Federer’s agency, Team 8, in favor of signing with Serena’s current agent. She may be looking to step out of the shadow of the 20-time Grand Slam winner, or possibly find an agency with experience that goes beyond white male athletes (Team 8 also represents Zverev and Del Potro, and has worked with Dimitrov). In other news, Fed’s coach said “he has not hinted at possible retirement.”
A sign of spring
The crews are cutting grass at Wimbledon. We know this because we follow one of our favorite tennis Twitter users and Star Wars Day observer: The Wimbledon Groundsman.
Tennis NRS is short for Tennis News, Rumors, and Speculation. This series is your place for tennis updates during the 2019–2020 coronavirus pandemic. Stay tuned for frequent briefs here and on social media: follow us on Facebook to hear when new posts are published.