French Open Champion Works in Supermarket As Virus Crisis Suspends Tennis

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Grand slam champion Kevin Krawietz long planned to gain insight into normal life. Without tennis in the coronavirus crisis, the 28-year-old works in a supermarket and sometimes it gets “tough,” he says.

One after another, Kevin Krawietz sorts products on the shelves. Wearing gloves and a mask, he puts potatoes, asparagus and blueberries in their place, reports dpa international.

Just after opening time at 7 am, the discount supermarket where he is working has already drawn a steady stream of customers.

There is nothing unusual other than the shelf stacker being a French Open champion. But nothing is usual at the moment and under normal circumstances Krawietz would not be here.

Krawietz would otherwise have been preparing to defend the men’s doubles title at Roland Garros in Paris. Instead, with tennis suspended due to the coronavirus crisis, the grand slam winner is taking the chance to change his perspective – on the basis of 450 euros (490 dollars) a month.

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“At the start it was rather thought of as a joke,” Krawietz told dpa. But the need was there. A friend directed him and tennis buddy Hannes Wagner to a store in Brunnthal, Bavaria.

“We just wanted to see if it’s exhausting, if it’s a challenge, to get up early and tidy shelves, to do quite mindless work.”

It’s not about money for the 28-year-old who banked almost a million euros in prize money from a glorious 2019.

Krawietz started at 5.30 am having needed half an hour for his commute. He enjoys collecting new experiences far removed from the ATP Tour. Tennis is hardly a topic in the supermarket.

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In Paris 12 months ago, Krawietz and partner Andreas Mies were the first Germans to win a men’s doubles title at a grand slam since 1937. “Really a sensation,” was the opinion of more than just tennis legend Boris Becker.

 

The experience has reminded him to value more “how cool” it is to be a professional player. He would like to take part in a new behind closed doors tournament series from the German tennis federation from June 8 – his last supermarket shift, for now, has already been worked.

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