SI Insider: Are There Players in Tennis Who Are Benefitting from the Current Layoff?

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Even though there are no matches, there was one question I thought was very interesting [posed by a reader]: it's a given that this layoff hurts a lot of players. I mean, Roger Federer and Serena Williams are both 38 years old. 

They're trying to win more majors. It doesn't help that these majors are being canceled or players like Novak Djokovic in the prime of his career. He's won the Australian Open, it's a great way to start 2020 - and all of a sudden he's losing momentum. He doesn't get to build on that. Rafa Nadal doesn't get to win the French Open as he seems to do every year. 

The question is: does any player benefit from this layoff? A lot of players are obviously injured by it. Players aren't getting a salary or not making prize money. But does anyone benefit? And I thought that was an interesting question. I think there are a couple of players. I think that the first answer is no one benefits, right? They're no matches. There's no opportunity to earn income, to build ranking points. Nobody wants this. 

But I do think there are a couple of players who do perhaps benefit from this. One group of them are the players returning from injuries: Bianca Andreescu, the 2019 U.S. Open champion. She hasn't played in 2020 because of injuries, so she now has some time to rehab without worrying about losing points and opportunities. 

I'm also intrigued by Coco Gauff. She's 16 now. She's doing terrifically. She's right around the top 50. But it's very jarring as a teenager to go overnight from a junior player to this global celebrity. I wonder if this time off doesn't give her a little bit of time to adjust to this very sort of tumultuous turn her life has taken. It's happy, but it's also something that takes some time. We've seen it in the past, and I wonder if this downtime doesn't help her add some maturity. 

It was an interesting discussion we had in the mailbag. Lots of tennis topics despite no tennis, but we all want the matches to resume.