London : The ATP has announced a six-week suspension of the men’s tennis tour due to the global outbreak of coronavirus. The suspension means all ATP Tour and ATP Challenger Tour events scheduled up to and inclusive of the week of April 20 will not take place.
Following the recent cancellation of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, the affected events are the Miami Open, the Fayez Sarofim & Co US Men’s Clay Court Championships in Houston, the Grand Prix Hassan II in Marrakech, the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, and the Hungarian Open in Budapest.
The six-week suspension comes in the wake of the World Health Organisation’s declaration on Wednesday that COVID-19 constitutes a global pandemic and the 30-day travel restriction announced by the US for foreign nationals from 26 European countries.
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 suspension of the ATP events takes place with immediate effect, meaning this week’s ATP Challenger tournaments in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, and Potchefstroom, South Africa, are not able to be completed.
The ITF, the game’s oldest governing body, has already cancelled the Fed Cup finals in Budapest in April, as well as the play-off matches in eight other venues, including Great Britain’s tie in Mexico.
Many other sporting events across the world are being postponed or cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has affected more than 90 countries. Overall, more than 1,10,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus have been reported till now and over 4,000 people have lost their lives.