Coronavirus: Destiny on hold – Liverpool, Serena, Tiger and other greats made to wait

Liverpool, Serena Williams and Tiger Woods were hoping for a date with destiny, but they have been forced to wait for now.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp reacts in his technical area   -  Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic has put a stop to practically all elite sport across the globe.

From the Premier League to the French Open, the Masters to the NBA, teams and sports stars are having to contend with postponements and even cancellations. 

While potential dates for action to resume have been announced across some sports and events, they are at best speculative. Nobody can say for sure when normal service will resume this year.

This unprecedented state of affairs has left the world of sport in limbo, but there are some who will be more anxious to get back to business than others.

Here, we take a look at some of those clubs and individuals who were on the brink of achieving long-pursued dreams before a global health crisis brought things to a grinding halt.

LIVERPOOL'S 30 YEARS OF HURT

There was a time when Liverpool was the dominant force in English football.

When, in 1990, the Reds were crowned champion of England for the 18th time, few could have envisaged the drought that would follow.

Read: Reds deserve title, FA right to finish 2019-20 even if we lose next season: Rooney

The Anfield club has not finished top of the pile since, yet looked destined to end that barren spell after its phenomenal charge to the summit this season. Not even Pep Guardiola's Manchester City could keep up.

With Jurgen Klopp's side sitting 25 points clear and requiring just two more wins to seal the Premier League title, its pursuit of glory has been suspended indefinitely. How much longer will the red half of Merseyside have to wait?

BUCKS' LUCK IS OUT

The Milwaukee Bucks were crowned NBA champions in 1971 and since then... nothing.

That was just the Bucks' third season in existence, but they have not managed to scale those heights in the following 49 years.

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Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer reacts during a match   -  (Getty Images)

It is not like they have failed to challenge, though, as Milwaukee have won their division 13 times during this title drought, including last year.

Read: Rashid Khan keeping himself busy with martial arts, PlayStation

They crashed out to the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 Eastern Conference Finals to prolong the heartbreak, surrendering a two-game lead to lose 4-2 in the series, but the Bucks were leading the way in the standings before the pandemic-enforced postponement of the season.

NADAL CAN'T CATCH FEDERER... YET

Rafael Nadal needs one more grand slam victory to move level with Roger Federer, and potentially swing the debate over the greatest tennis player of all time.

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Roger Federer (L) and Rafael Nadal (R) sign off after a match   -  Getty Images

The Spaniard is on 19 and would have been the clear favourite to win a 13th French Open title before the tournament was delayed until September.

What's more, Federer was initially set to miss out on competing at Roland Garros through injury.

It appears his status as the putative GOAT of the men's game is safe - for the time being at least.

SERENA CAN FEEL NADAL'S PAIN

For Serena Williams, the wait to join Margaret Court on 24 slams has been long and painful enough.

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Serena Williams after her Australian Open exit   -  Getty Images

Attempting to equal the record is a long-held goal for the American, who nonetheless faces scant opposition to claim the crown of the GOAT of the women's game.

Read: Social distancing has Serena 'on edge' amid coronavirus pandemic

She last triumphed in one of the sport's four headline events in 2017, claiming the Australian Open.

However, she has since lost four finals and, at 38, the uncertainty over the schedule means time is ebbing away. 

TIGER STILL CHASING NICKLAUS

There was a time when it seemed certain Tiger Woods would overtake Jack Nicklaus' major tally.

Woods reached 14 – four behind Nicklaus – in 2008, but injuries and personal issues forced his life and career off the rails.

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Tiger Woods won his 15th major title at the Masters last April.   -  Getty Images

He ended his lean run in 2019 with victory at the Masters, but this year's tournament at Augusta has fallen victim to the pandemic.

Now 44, Woods is facing a battle to hold off Father Time and chase down that elusive tally of 18 major triumphs.