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Tennis extends suspension due to COVID-19

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15th May, 2020
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There will be no professional tennis until the end of July after the ATP and WTA Tours extended their suspension.

The men’s and women’s tours were due to resume on July 13 following a hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it was announced on Friday that has now been extended until the end of the month.

No tennis has been played since the end of February because of the global shutdown.

The new extension means ATP Tour events in Hamburg, Bastad, Newport, Los Cabos, Gstaad, Umag, Atlanta and Kitzbuhel are all cancelled while Lausanne, Bucharest and Jurmala will now not host tournaments on the WTA Tour.

“Due to continued uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we regret to announce our decision to extend the suspension of the Tour,” said ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi.

“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.

“We continue to assess all of our options in an effort to resume the Tour as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Novak Djokovic

(Photo by Jack Thomas/Getty Images)

A WTA spokesperson added: “We regret this is the case but will continue to be guided by medical experts for when it is safe and possible to return to WTA competition. We continue to monitor the situation closely and are hopeful to be back on the court as soon as possible.”

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The Citi Open in Washington is the next event in the calendar, but there must be serious doubts over that with some tournaments on the North American hard-court swing already off.

The WTA said it would make a decision on tournaments in Palermo and Karlsruhe, which were to begin on July 20 and 28 respectively, when the announcements to its revised calendar are made in June.

Meanwhile, the game’s governing body ITF said all events – including ITF Juniors, Seniors, UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour, Beach Tennis Tour and the men’s and women’s ITF World Tennis Tour – would be suspended.

However, the ITF suspensions will not affect any of the grand slams with Wimbledon having already cancelled this year’s championships. The US Open is scheduled to begin on August 24 while the postponed French Open is now due to start on September 20.

The Swiss Open in Gstaad has been cancelled while organisers of the Austrian Open in Kitzbuhel said they were looking at rescheduling the clay-court tournament for September.

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Hamburg organisers said they were “focusing on a possible postponement of the tournament.”

The Hall of Fame Open in Newport, Rhode Island has been cancelled and organisers said the Hall of Fame Class of 2020 induction ceremony will now not take place.

Tennis greats Conchita Martinez of Spain and Croatian Goran Ivanisevic will now be inducted in 2021.

© AAP