Australian tennis professional John Millman is seen during a training session at the Queensland Tennis Centre in Brisbane, Monday, May 18, 2020. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
Australian tennis professional John Millman is seen during a training session at the Queensland Tennis Centre in Brisbane, Monday, May 18, 2020. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

Millman reveals coronavirus fears

QUENSLAND tennis star John Millman fears the pressure of saving careers will force players to expose themselves to coronavirus before the pandemic ends.

In March, Millman doubted the men's and women's tennis tours would resume this year such was the "global nature" of the sport and nations being at different stages in their battle to combat COVID-19.

The men's ATP tour is on hold until at least July 31, while the women's WTA tour last week suspended a host of July tournaments.

But Millman now believes that even with the delays, tournament tennis will return this year for financial reasons.

"I didn't think we would come back this year, but I feel as if there's a few of the federations, a few of the tournaments, that probably have quite vested interests into trying to get us back out there," the 30-year-old Brisbane product said.

"If we don't have the Grand Slam tournaments, those federations lose a fair bit of money.

"I understand that some of the places are desperate to have the tournaments because there's a lot of money at stake but I just hope that we make the right decisions for communities all around the world."

Despite world No. 43 Millman urging a cautious approach to the tours returning, he conceded some players would be forced to enter tournaments against their will for the sake of their careers.

John Millman during a training session at the Queensland Tennis Centre in Brisbane. Picture: AAP Image/Dave Hunt.
John Millman during a training session at the Queensland Tennis Centre in Brisbane. Picture: AAP Image/Dave Hunt.

"It puts tennis players into a pretty tough position because while you're not playing, and other people are, you're missing out on ranking points and then down the track that means you're not going to be getting into tournaments - that's how tennis works," he said.

"It's a really tricky one. Your hand's forced a little bit.

"When the tour resumes you have to go out there because literally your career is going down the gurgler if you don't do it. That's why I really believe the smart decisions have to be made, not necessarily the ones that are good for the money."

With restrictions eased, Millman has resumed training at the Queensland Tennis Centre, where the Pat Rafter Arena is currently undergoing a makeover.

John Millman painting the roof of an under construction Pat Rafter Arena. The QTC has reopened to the public under permitted social distancing guidelines. Picture: AAP Image/Dave Hunt
John Millman painting the roof of an under construction Pat Rafter Arena. The QTC has reopened to the public under permitted social distancing guidelines. Picture: AAP Image/Dave Hunt

"I was well looked after when Tennyson wasn't open. I managed to hit on a couple of private courts at people's houses," he said.

"A couple of families were really kind to let me have a bit of a bash. It's what Queenslanders are about.

"We help each other and they definitely answered my call of need so I could keep my eye in, but it's nice to be back out here at Tennyson.

"There's that sense of normality again to be able to go through your routines."



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