Tennis fears after player gets coronavirus

Ex-world No.1 and Australian Open champion Lindsay Davenport fears 'horror stories' ahead after the emergence of the first coronavirus victim in the sport.

Former Australian Open champion and world No.1 Lindsay Davenport fears the first positive coronavirus case in professional tennis is just the tip of the iceberg and worries about "horror stories" emerging from fellow players across the globe.

Talented young Brazilian Thiago Seyboth Wild, whose last match was a loss to John Millman just 19 days ago in Australia's Davis Cup victory in Adelaide, revealed on social media that he was in self-isolation after contracting Covid-19.

"I really applaud Thiago for coming out publicly - first tennis player, that's not easy," Davenport told the Tennis Channel.

"But I know there's a lot of players going through a lot right now in Italy and Spain and France and I think, when this is all said and done, we're going to hear a lot of almost horror stories from a lot of these players of what they're going through right now.

"I think this will be a huge wake-up call to all the players, if they weren't already alarmed by this virus.

"Or for the some of the players that were still confused over why tour events that have been cancelled for the next couple of weeks also.

"It's going to be really hard. I really don't think he's the only player who has it. We have so many players all over the world."

The 20-year-old world No.114 Seyboth Wild - who also won his maiden ATP title this month in Santiago - said on Twitter he'd been taking care of himself and following doctor's instructions.

Millman told AAP he had no health concerns whatsoever after also speaking with the Australian team doctor and the other Brazilian he played in Adelaide.

Acclaimed American coach Paul Annacone, the former mentor to all-time greats Pete Sampras and Roger Federer, said the revelation was a major concern - and warning - for a sport, which like all others, was universally on hold.

"This is one of the problems that we're facing in tennis and why the delay is going to be really challenging," Annacone said.

"It's an individual, international sport. We are on planes SO much, travelling the globe, so many different continents so that not only are we susceptible but what we're finding out now is that there's a lot of pathways to pass this (disease) on to others.

"So we have to be really careful."

Although Seyboth Wild is officially the first tennis player to test positive to coronavirus, Australian Bernard Tomic 10 days ago reported to having "all the symptoms" before moving into self isolation in Miami.

"Look, let's be honest, there are a lot of tennis players that have done a lot of travelling this year," Annacone told the Tennis Channel.

"So we've got to be smart, we've got to self-isolate and we've got to do everything we can to try to wrestle this to at least neutrality for the time being."


AAP