‘This is the responsible action needed at this time,’ says ATP chief after Tour is suspended for six weeks
It’s official: the ATP Tour is going on a six-week hiatus “due to escalating health and safety issues arising from the global outbreak of COVID-19”.
The decision comes on the back of the Miami Open, Fed Cup Finals and Indian Wells Masters’ announcements that the tournaments have been cancelled due to the coronavirus.
A statement read: “The ATP has announced a six-week suspension of the men’s professional tennis tour due to escalating health and safety issues arising from the global outbreak of COVID-19. 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.”
The U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships in Houston, Grand Prix Hassan II in Marrakech, the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, and the Hungarian Open in Budapest will all be scrapped as the Tour will be on a break until at least April 27.
The suspension comes after the World Health Organisation declared the coronavirus a pandemic and the United States imposed travel restrictions to several 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 worldwide nature of our sport and the international travel required presents significant risks and challenges in today’s circumstances, as do the increasingly restrictive directives issued by local authorities. We continue to monitor this on a daily basis and we look forward to the Tour resuming when the situation improves. In the meantime, our thoughts and well-wishes are with all those that have been affected by the virus.”
This week’s ATP Challenger events in Nur Saltan, Kazhakstan, and Potchefstroom, South Africa, have also been called off.
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