Tennis goes into shutdown mode for six weeks

Tennis goes into shutdown mode for six weeks

14/03/2020

The ATP has announced that the men's professional tennis tour has been suspended for six weeks as a result of the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

There will be no ATP events until April 20 at the earliest, with the following events taken off the calendar: the Miami Open, the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships in Houston, the Grand Prix Hassan II in Marrakech, the Monte-Carlo Masters, the Barcelona Open, and the Hungarian Open in Budapest.

Indian Wells was only recently cancelled, with the Miami Open going the same way earlier on Thursday.

Andrea Gaudenzi, ATP chairman, said: "This is not a decision that was taken lightly and it represents a great loss for our tournaments, players, and fans worldwide. However we believe this is the responsible action needed at this time in order to protect the health and safety of our players, staff, the wider tennis community and general public health in the face of this global pandemic.

"The worldwide nature of our sport and the international travel required presents significant risks and challenges in today's circumstances, as do the increasingly restrictive directives issued by local authorities. We continue to monitor this on a daily basis and we look forward to the Tour resuming when the situation improves. In the meantime, our thoughts and well-wishes are with all those that have been affected by the virus."

The French Open and Wimbledon are currently unaffected by the on-going pandemic, with the second Grand Slam of the year at Roland-Garros set to start a month after the ATP Tour returns to action on April 20. However, tournament director Guy Forget told L'Equipe that Roland-Garros would take its lead from the French government, following the recommendations given by medical experts.

While the Daily Mail reported that The All England Club would rather cancel Wimbledon than play with no fans amid the coronavirus outbreak, casting doubt on the third Grand Slam of the year.

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