It's been an unusual year to say the least, but despite a gloomy 2020, the sport saw moments of triumph and unity. Tennis was shut down just before Indian Wells commenced in mid-March due to COVID-19, and both tours would remain closed for nearly five months.
The sport found ways to resume play safely, even though the players had to endure playing in a bubble and under harsh restrictions. They were just happy to be back—and fans were too.
Viewers witnessed Jennifer Brady capture her maiden career WTA title at the Top Seed Open in Lexington—the pro tour's first event in the United States since the coronavirus outbreak. Then the American would make an impressive semifinal run at the 2020 edition of the US Open. The world was also kept on the edge of their seats when Dominic Thiem slipped past Alexander Zverev to claim his first Grand Slam title in New York.
Following the US Open, players traveled to Paris for the rescheduled Roland Garros. There, Rafael Nadal would win his 20th major title, his unimaginable 13th Roland Garros trophy. These events would have not been possible without the collective collaboration of all moving components that make up the sport.
"Having the opportunity to play during such a crazy time," Brady told Tennis.com. "You know honestly, if you were to ask me six months ago if we were going to be out here playing, I would have said no. Especially since I was able to win my first title, and then do so well at the US Open. I think I'm just blessed."
Nadal is simply thankful to be healthy amidst such challenging times, but he holds hope that the world will soon defeat the on-going virus.
"Of course the only thing we can do is try to win against the virus. So, hopefully 2021 will be the year," Nadal said.
On this Thanksgiving, as we the world feasts and gives thanks, Tennis Channel will be doing the same by celebrating game-changing players and performances. Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are among some of the featured players.