Coronavirus Outbreak: ATP, WTA extend suspension of tournaments in wake of COVID-19 crisis

In addition to the ATP and WTA announcements, which also affect lower-tier events, the International Tennis Federation said its tournaments would go on hiatus for the same period, including for juniors, seniors and wheelchair players.

The Associated Press May 15, 2020 21:57:40 IST
Coronavirus Outbreak: ATP, WTA extend suspension of tournaments in wake of COVID-19 crisis

The professional tennis tours extended their suspensions caused by the coronavirus pandemic through at least the end of July on Friday, bringing the total number of scrapped tournaments around the world to more than 40.

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Representative image of ATP Tour. Image: Creative Commons

In addition to the ATP and WTA announcements, which also affect lower-tier events, the International Tennis Federation said its tournaments would go on hiatus for the same period, including for juniors, seniors and wheelchair players.

Further updates to the sport’s calendar are expected to be revealed in about a month.

The tours already had been on hold at least until 13 July, a decision announced on 1 April, the same day the All England Club said it would be canceling Wimbledon for the first time in 75 years.

That made Wimbledon the first Grand Slam tournament wiped out because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The start of the 2020 French Open has been postponed from late May to late September. The US Open is expected to make a decision on its status for this year sometime in June.

The US Tennis Association has been weighing various options for its hard-court tournament, which is scheduled to begin main-draw play on 31 August, including staging it without spectators or moving it out of its home in New York to another state entirely.

Friday’s announcement by the tours eliminated more than 10 events from the tennis calendar, including the post-Wimbledon grass-court Hall of Fame Open in Newport, Rhode Island, and a hard-court US Open tuneup in Atlanta.

Among the other tournaments affected by Friday’s decision are those located in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Mexico and Romania.

In addition to the cancellation of its 11-18 July tournament, the International Tennis Hall of Fame also said Friday that its 2020 induction ceremony for Goran Ivanisevic and Conchita Martinez is being called off.

Ivanisevic and Martinez now will be honored alongside any Class of 2021 inductees next year.

ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said in a statement his tour is assessing the "feasibility of rescheduling events later in the season.”

Some small tennis exhibitions have been organized, with small fields and no fans, but no sanctioned play has been allowed since early March.

As of now, the men’s and women’s Citi Open hard-court tournament in Washington, where qualifying would begin on 1 August, could mark the return for top-level tennis —if it returns at all this year.

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