LONDON – Wimbledon champion Simona Halep is recovering well from a foot injury she suffered in February and is able to run without pain, the former world number one has said. The Romanian won in Dubai but the injury forced her to pull out of Indian Wells, which was later cancelled as the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic prompted countries to lock down borders and restrict travel. “The foot looks good, I have started to run already and I don’t have pain at all,” Halep said in a video posted on Twitter. “I don’t play tennis yet but being able to do the training means a lot and gives me a big positive actually.” Tennis, like virtually all other sports, has been severely impacted by the pandemic, with the professional season suspended until at least mid-July. Halep defeated Serena Williams in last year’s Wimbledon final but will not get to defend her title in 2020 as the Grand Slam was cancelled due to the virus, which has infected 1.27 million people globally and left over 70,000 dead, according to a Reuters tally. “I miss my team, I miss the players, I miss the tournaments, I miss everyone from the Tour,” said the 28-year-old, who also won the French Open in 2018.
“I know it’s bit tough for everybody, this period. “But if we stay home, if we stay strong and positive it will help a lot. I can’t wait to travel again, I can’t wait to play tennis again and I can’t wait to see you.”
Buttler fine with England playing different formats at same time
LONDON – England could field two different teams on the same day at separate venues if the COVID-19 pandemic leads to a compressed home season, wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler has said. England have suspended professional cricket until at least May 28 due to the global health crisis, which also looms over their home series against West Indies, Pakistan, Australia and Ireland. “I think I saw (limited-overs captain) Eoin Morgan say everything has to be looked at as a possibility,” Buttler, 29, told British media. “If it was logistically possible, I think you would get people wanting to watch. “Is it an option? Could you put two games on the same day? Potentially you could, in different areas,” said Buttler. “It’s right that it is being considered.” Asked which format he would pick if different formats were played concurrently, Buttler said, “I don’t know, whichever one I got selected to play in.” The World Cup-winning player also saw some merit in the idea of playing in stadiums without fans present. “We haven’t watched any sport for a long time, and we know how big an impact TV revenue has on the game and how vital that is. “I know it would be very strange playing competitive sport without a crowd … but it would be nice for people who have been in isolation or lockdown for a long time to be able to see their heroes and role models back on the TV.”