ATP and WTA cancel clay-court season due to coronavirus, Wimbledon still set to go ahead

The ATP and WTA have announced they are suspending all tennis until June 8 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Both tours already suspended competition into April as a result of the global pandemic which has led to the deaths of over 8,700 deaths.

Italy, Spain and France have been among the worst hit and with tournaments coming up in those countries, it has been decided to cancel the entire clay season.

In a joint statement, the ATP and WTA said: “After careful consideration, and due to the continuing outbreak of COVID-19, all ATP and WTA tournaments in the Spring clay-court swing will not be held as scheduled.

“This includes the combined ATP/WTA tournaments in Madrid and Rome, along with the WTA events in Strasbourg and Rabat and ATP events in Munich, Estoril, Geneva and Lyon.

“The professional tennis season is now suspended through 7 June 2020, including the ATP Challenger Tour and ITF World Tennis Tour. At this time, tournaments taking place from 8 June 2020 onwards are still planning to go ahead as per the published schedule.

“In parallel, the FedEx ATP Rankings and WTA Rankings will be frozen throughout this period and until further notice.

“The challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic to professional tennis demand greater collaboration than ever from everyone in the tennis community in order for the sport to move forward collectively in the best interest of players, tournaments and fans.

“We are assessing all options related to preserving and maximising the tennis calendar based on various return dates for the Tours, which remains an unknown at this time.

“We are committed to working through these matters with our player and tournament members, and the other governing bodies, in the weeks and months ahead.

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“Now is not a time to act unilaterally, but in unison. All decisions related to the impact of the coronavirus require appropriate consultation and review with the stakeholders in the game, a view that is shared by ATP, WTA, ITF, AELTC, Tennis Australia, and USTA.”

Ukrainian player Illya Marchenko was among the first to react to the news, writing on Twitter: “See you on 8th of June.”

As it stands, the grass-court season is still set to go ahead.

Officials at Wimbledon have been keeping a close eye on the situation with the hope that the tournament can still take place.

Meanwhile, multiple Grand Slam winning British doubles star Jamie Murray has hit out at the French Open for seemingly going rogue and announcing their intention to schedule their event to September.

“In a time where everyone should be coming together and showing unity, they’ve gone off and done their own thing in the name of self-protection,” Murray told i.

“With everything that has gone on in tennis in the last couple of years, everyone talks about working together and not trying to be so fractured and out for their own interests and stakes in the game – and then one of the events has said ‘we’re going to put our event on at the end of September and we don’t care that there are all these other events that are supposed to go on at that time’.

“I found it a strange way to go about it. That was quite disappointing.”

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