John Millman says timing of tennis' return will show if its priorities are health or money
"What is more important - money or the health of not just yourself but the community?"
Last Updated: 20/05/20 7:33am
John Millman says the timing of professional tennis's return will reveal whether the tours and federations are more interested in making money or looking after the health of players.
The professional game has been suspended since March because of the coronavirus pandemic and the International Tennis Federation, WTA and ATP have put back plans for a resumption until August at the earliest.
Millman, a 16-year veteran of the ATP Tour and ranked 43rd in the world, says even that would probably be too soon to return.
- Coronavirus: Latest sports updates
- Tennis and the state of play
- Murray and Rashford on tennis, football and attitudes
"I feel as if it is probably way too early to get back into it or even thinking about returning in August," the 30-year-old told Australian Associated Press.
"Indian Wells, the last tournament we were meant to play, was cancelled because there was one case in the region. It is a bit of a contradiction if they say come August 'there are cases around but you guys can travel and play some tennis'.
"But money talks at times and our hand could be forced, unfortunately.
"What is more important - money or the health of not just yourself but the community? We will see what is tennis' priority."
Given many lower-ranked players have been starved of crucial income during the lockdown, Millman thought it would be hard for them to resist the call to return whether they felt safe or not.
"Unfortunately, when the tour says we are back playing your hand is forced a bit because it is your career at stake," said the man who beat Roger Federer at the 2018 US Open.
Millman said he wants to be certain it was safe before returning to tournament play and did not anticipate that happening any time soon.
"Players would have to be coming from places where the virus isn't there any more and going to tournaments where the virus isn't there any more," he said.
"For that to happen on a global stage, I think we are a fair way off that."