7:6, 4:6, 6:3 in London against Stefanos Tsitsipas! In my eighth game against the Greek I won my fifth match, I achieved revenge for my loss at the Masters final of 2019. This is a perfect start into the season final, I got myself into a good position for the other group matches. At the final last year a crowd of 17,000 fans created an incredible atmosphere at the O2-Arena, on this Sunday it was very, very quiet.
It is so sad that there are no spectators allowed – however, in times as nowadays we have to live with it. We are lucky to play this event. At least the sport aficionados get some distraction from this Corona-pandemic. A lot of things are new for the participants: instead of staying in downtown London – for the last years it has been next to the London Eye – we stay at a hotel right next to the O2-Arena. Even though we are just minutes away walking distance, we have to take the shuttle to get to the venue. My driver’s name is Terry, he is just here for me. This is not to be seen as a privilege, this is just for precaution…
There is a lot of space for very few people, even the tables at the players´ restaurant were rearranged to meet “Corona-standards“. We are tested every three days, the strict concept of hygiene was elaborated to the finest detail. To be honest: I have gotten used to living in a bubble for the last weeks, but then you reach a point where it gets exhausting. Well, you have to move on! The best way to brighten up this monotony of everyday life: victories!