Less than a year ago German tennis player Kevin Krawietz, enjoyed the biggest success of his professional career when he won the French Open doubles with his partner Antoine Miles.
These days though he is spending his time stacking the shelves at his local discount supermarket, making sure that the aisles are well stocked with sausages and cheese, and that empty boxes are thrown out. He also has done a stint on security duty, spraying the trolleys with disinfectant to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
And all this for the princely minimum wage of €450 (US $488) a week, a far cry from the €580,000 he and Miles shared for that win at Roland Garros last June.
Fortunately for Krawietz, this is not some hard luck story, but something that the tennis pro has chosen to do during the lockdown and the suspension of the sport. He is now comfortably well-off and does not need to get a part-time job, but he has chosen to do so in order to experience normal life. It has also given him a greater appreciation of what his tennis career has given him.
The 28 year old, who is ranked 13 in the world in doubles, enjoyed a break-through year in 2019 with Miles, the pair also enjoying another big payday when they got to the semi-finals of the US Open.
However, things were not always so easy for him. He used to earn barely €1,000 a week on tour, on which earnings he had to pay tax, the fees for his coach, and pay his own board and travel expenses. Krawietz, consequently, is one man who is supporting the initiative of world number one, Novak Djokovic, who is trying to set up a fund to help players below the elite level, whose incomes have been decimated by the coronavirus outbreak.
Nor is Krawietz the only person from the world of sport to end up in a supermarket during the pandemic, In Australia, Cricket’s governing body in the country, Cricket Australia, has offered the staff it has furloughed during the crisis to a local supermarket chain, to try and boost their incomes, after reducing their pay by 80%.