According to US Open champion Dominic Thiem, being in a Covid bubble has suited players like Dan Evans as it has helped them concentrate on tennis.
The British No 1, however, scoffs at that notion as he prepares for his opening round at the French Open on Sunday, against a useful clay-courter in Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic.
As Evans pointed out, his conversion to a highly professional lifestyle predates the pandemic, and the only thing he is missing on tour is being able to go out to dinner at leisure.
Dan Evans is preparing for his opening match at the French Open against Miomir Kecmanovic
‘I must be out partying a lot, yeah,’ he joked. ‘I’ve done all right outside of the bubble as well. I must have improved a lot inside it for him to say that.
‘I travel with my girlfriend every week. It’s not like you can go out partying with your girlfriend every week. It’s not that I was on my own and single and going nuts when there weren’t bubbles. It’s a strange comment, isn’t it?’
Jo Konta is also very much in a couple, and revealed that she became engaged to boyfriend Jackson Wade on her 30th birthday earlier this month.
US Open champion Dominic Thiem claimed the Covid bubble has suited players like Evans
The British women’s No 1 was also open about her view on taking the Covid vaccine. While stressing that she was not against vaccines, she admitted that she has not yet decided when to receive one.
‘At home it is down to the 30-year-olds so I am eligible now but I haven’t been able to fit it in,’ said Konta, who faces Romanian Sorana Cirstea in the first round. ‘I haven’t rushed to get it but I am thinking about it and I know it can make life a lot easier now.
‘It’s just not in my nature to rush into medical things. I’m definitely not against it. I’m all for vaccines, they are an incredible part of our science with what they have been able to do for us as a race. I’m just waiting to see how things develop and how it fits into my life more than anything.’
Jo Konta became engaged to boyfriend Jackson Wade on her 30th birthday earlier this month
World No 2 Naomi Osaka was not part of Friday’s round of pre-tournament press conferences, having declared a boycott on mental health grounds.
She could not find many allies for her stance, with world No 1 Ashleigh Barty saying: ‘Press is part of the job. We know what we sign up for as players. At times conferences are hard, of course, but it’s also not something that bothers me.’
Rafael Nadal agreed with Barty: ‘We need to accept questions and try to produce answers. Without the people who are writing we would not be the athletes that we are today. We wouldn’t have the recognition around the world.’
TV: Dan Evans v Miomir Kecmanovic, Live on ITV4 and Eurosport