ATP and WTA have jointly announce they are suspending both tours till June 7 meaning the clay court season has effectively been wiped out. The move also affects ATP Challenger Tour and ITF World Tennis Tour. Also Read - German State Finance Minister Commits Suicide Amid Fears of Financial Impact of Coronavirus Pandemic
The decision comes in the wake of coronavirus pandemic that earlier saw French Open making a ‘surprise’ announcement that it will be held in September this year. Also Read - Coronavirus: Total Positive Cases Climb to 1024, Death Toll Reaches 27, State Borders Sealed | Top Points
“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,” ATP and WTA said in a joint statement. “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.” Also Read - IPL 2020 Set to be Cancelled Due to Coronavirus Pandemic: Report
The ATP and WTA rankings will thus remain frozen during the period of suspension.
The statement also took a subtle aim at Roland Garros’ decision to reschedule which caught several players by surprise. The year’s second Grand Slam event has now become the last in 2020 and will start a week after the conclusion of US Open and overlap with the Laver Cup.
The decision to reschedule French Open was reportedly taken without consulting the stakeholders including ATP, WTA and players.
“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,” the statement read.
“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,” it added.