WTA chief hopeful tennis will have a full grass-court season, but adds ‘we’re also realistic’

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WTA CEO Steve Simon says they are still optimistic that the 2020 campaign will resume with the grass-court season, but concedes tennis could be forced into a longer delay.

With sport across the globe thrown into disarray due to the coronavirus pandemic, tennis officials were forced to suspend all tournaments until June 7.

Simon says the WTA’s first priority is to look after the players, officials and fans.

“Obviously, the WTA family is going through the same things that everyone else in the world is going through,” he told Tennis Channel.

“I think we’re certainly healthy at this point of time and in good spirits.

“I also hope that’s true with all of the tennis fans as well. It’s unprecedented times and we’re all going to get through this together.

“Like everyone else in the world right now, we’re looking at all of the data and taking all of the information we’ve received from the medical experts, the local governments with respect to the restrictions that are in place.”

The entire clay-court campaign has already been wiped out, but the powers that be have pencilled in June 8, the start of the grass-court season, as the return date.

Simon says it is a case of wait and see.

“The WTA and tennis is a little bit unique because it’s global,” he added.

“All of the travel restrictions and the challenges being faced are certainly going to affect us in being able to move players along.

“Currently, we’re hopeful to play again with our grass-court season, which begins June 8, but we’re also realistic.

“We also realise it could be delayed even further. First and foremost is the safety of our athletes, our staff and, of course, the fans that come to the events.

“We want to be playing as soon as we possibly can. Hopefully, it’s June, but if not we’re hopeful for the summer hard-court season back here in the States.”

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