Tennis extends coronavirus suspension: ATP and WTA Tours on further hold

May 15, 2020
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    US Open

    The US Open, which hosts the biggest matches on Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York, is the traditionally the fourth and final Grand Slam of the season

    Professional tennis on the ATP and WTA tours has been suspended further because of the coronavirus pandemic.

    All ATP tournaments in July have been suspended, including the Hamburg Open – a third-tier 500 level event.

    WTA events in Bastad, Bucharest, Lausanne and Jurmala have been called off, with similar events in Palermo and Karlsruhe set to follow.

    The US Open, which takes place in New York at the end of August, remains pencilled in for that date.

    No professional tournaments have been played since the start of March, with the French Open and Wimbledon among the events called off.

    “Just like tennis fans, players and tournament hosts all over the world, we share in the disappointment the tour continues to be affected in this way,” said ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi.

    “We continue to assess all of our options in an effort to resume the tour as soon as it is safe to do so, including the feasibility of rescheduling events later in the season.”

    Wimbledon, which was due to start on 29 June, was cancelled for the first time since World War Two.

    French Open organisers announced their intention to play the clay-court Grand Slam, which should have started on 24 May, in late September and early October instead.

    In theory, it would take place after the North American hard-court season, which culminates with the US Open at Flushing Meadows.

    The hard-court events in the United States and Canada remain in place for now. The latest suspension is likely to run up to the WTA event in San Jose and the ATP event in Washington on 3 August, with a further decision set to be made next month.

    These tournaments are followed by the Rogers Cup – which is split across Montreal and Toronto – and the Cincinnati Open, events which are both categorised among the biggest outside of Grand Slams.

    ‘The future is potentially brighter’ – analysis

    Russell Fuller, BBC tennis correspondent

    With European governments still focusing all their efforts on Covid-19, and with bans on large public gatherings in place in so many cities, these tournaments have been on borrowed time for a while.

    But the future is potentially a little brighter.

    Both the US Open, and the rearranged French Open at the end of September, are talking more positively about going ahead behind closed doors. The USTA also continues to explore possible venues outside New York for the tournament for later in the year.

    And the tours are continuing to draw up provisional plans for an autumn return, in which the best case scenario may allow for some paying fans – albeit in much reduced numbers.

    Source

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