This past weekend was set to be Bahamian professional tennis player Justin Roberts’ first competitive action since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down tennis and sports in general. However, the first-year professional suffered a left calf strain injury in training and was unable to play.
Roberts was set to play in an exclusive pro tennis invitational at the Birch Racquet and Lawn Club in Keller, Texas, in the United States.
The Bahamian was going up against the likes of Mitchell Krueger, Luke Bambridge, Nathaniel Lammons, Jody Maginley, Evan Zhu and Amy Zhu.
Evan Zhu won the singles at the tournament this past weekend.
“I’m disappointed. Everyone is checking up on me asking about my left calf, but they have been able to find a fill-in for me. I have been a part of the event. I helped set up the tournament every day,” Roberts said. He suffered the injury after a serve during training 10 days ago. The former Arizona State University (ASU) standout said that he is taking it easy and looking to be fully healthy by the end of the next two weeks.
“It is getting better,” Roberts said. “It is in a bit of a tough spot as it is a little muscle in the calf so there is not much blood flow as in other places. I am just trying to be patient with it.”
Roberts is looking to play in another tournament – the M15 Illinois Futures in Champaign, Illinois, slated for September 14 to 20. He is unsure that it will happen as the COVID-19 pandemic is causing uncertainty. Once he finishes that tournament, Roberts will be looking forward to playing in three more tournaments around the US. He is looking to move up the international rankings.
The Bahamian is ranked at number 788 in the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) singles rankings. In the International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) singles rankings, he is ranked at number 416.
When the pandemic was in full swing, The Bahamas’ top player was keeping busy by honing his craft at the Dent Academy in Keller. He was working at improving his game and believes he has gotten 10 to 15 percent better since that time.
This was set up as a busy year for Roberts. He was set to represent The Bahamas at the Davis Cup competition, playing alongside Marvin Rolle, Kevin Major Jr. and Baker Newman – one of the strongest teams to be assembled by The Bahamas in recent years. However, the Davis Cup competition was postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.