The ATP and WTA professional tennis tours suspended all their tournaments until at least June 7 due to the coronavirus pandemic, and frozen their rankings “until further notice.”
In a rare joint statement by the men’s and women’s circuits, the two announced that the clay season “will not go as planned”, a day after the start of the French Open was postponed from May to September.
The decision of the French Tennis Federation to decide on its own new dates and reschedule the start of its Grand Slam tournament for a week after the end of the US Open had repercussions on the other governing bodies of the divided sport.
“Now is not the time to act unilaterally, but in unison,” said the ATP-WTA statement. “All decisions related to the impact of the coronavirus require appropriate consultation and review with relevant parties in sport.”
He adds that this is “an opinion shared by” the ATP, the WTA, the International Tennis Federation and the organizations that run the US Open, Wimbledon and the Australian Open _ the other three Grand Slam tournaments.
Most people who contract the coronavirus develop only mild symptoms, such as fever and cough. For others, including the elderly and people with additional health problems, the condition can be worse, even with pneumonia.
But most people recover from this condition.
As things stand, the next big tournament on the tennis calendar is Wimbledon, due to kick off on June 29.
Its organizers and those of the US Open, which begins Aug. 31, have said they are not yet ready to make changes to their tournaments, but are looking into the matter.
Shortly after the ATP and WTA announcement, the International Tennis Federation postponed their tournaments until June 7.
The tournaments affected by Wednesday’s decisions include the combined men’s and women’s events in Madrid and Rome.
In the WTA, the suspended tournaments are those of Strasbourg, and Rabat, along with those of the ATP in Munich, Estoril, Geneva and Lyon.
Since players cannot earn points by winning matches, they cannot lose them now. Thus, they will retain their current positions in the ATP and WTA ranks until June, and possibly beyond. AP