When Andy Murray crashed out of Wimbledon in 2017, it seemed impossible to think that he would spend much of the next three years on the sidelines.
Murray, then the defending champion, fought valiantly, often on one leg, to the quarter-finals, before wilting to a five-set defeat to Sam Querrey. After an exhausting French Open in which he was defeated in the last-four in an epic to Stan Wawrinka, he had been nursing a hip injury.
Nonetheless, he continually rushed his comeback. He pulled out of an exhibition match at the Hurlingham Club but still played Queen's, suffering a first-round loss to Jordan Thompson. Whether or not he felt pressure from the LTA and sponsors to play the showpiece grass court events, ultimately exacerbating the injury and missing the rest of the season, we are not sure.
Since then, his various attempts at a comeback have all followed a similar pattern. A cathartic moment followed by a setback, resulting in further time on the sidelines and, eventually, another hurried return to action.
His desire to play is plain for all to see and entirely understandable. At the Australian Open in 2019, it was hard not to be moved by his tears when he admitted that he may have to quit tennis altogether after being forced to undergo surgery once more; this sport having given him everything and he wanted to give his all to his passion.
Wimbledon cancellation was inevitable, says Jamie Murray
The latest attempt to return to the tour was due to be at the Miami Open, which had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has arguably come at a convenient time for Murray.
As long as tennis goes on without him, the more he will be desperate to get back to playing and competing with his rivals.
Due to his prolonged absence, the 'Big Four' may have become the 'Big Three', and he seems unlikely to challenge Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer again. But he still has goals that he will want to achieve before hanging up his racquet.
The extended time off will allow him to get over any small niggles that would have been ignored for the sake of getting back to action as soon as possible and stop him from making the mistakes that brought him such bad injury problems in the first place, then take to the court as fit as he could be.
Djokovic explains 1m euro coronavirus donation
With tennis suspended from the point of his desired comeback, and now with the entire grass-court season having been cancelled, he now has considerably more time to plan his eventual return and ensure he is entirely ready to do so.
Coronavirus is devastating for families, communities, governments and for everyone involved in the sporting world, from athletes to fans to sponsors and beyond. But for a select few, it does at least buy time.