ATP and WTA Tour Suspended Because of Coronavirus Pandemic
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Professional tennis has come to a halt following the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ATP and WTA Tour have taken the decision to stop their activities for six and five weeks respectively.
The announcement came just a few days after the surprise postponement of the Indian Wells events.
Citing the escalating health and safety issues related to the coronavirus pandemic, the world’s top professional tennis circuits simultaneously decided to suspend the season.
The ATP took immediate action, suspending the events for six weeks.
The WTA, meanwhile, initially intended to return during the clay-court season, in early April.
However, as the situation continued to escalate, the association ultimately decided to extend the suspension until May 4.
It led to the cancelation of three events, Stuttgart, Istanbul and Prague.
The WTA Tour is now set to resume at the Madrid Open, which is now set to be the first Premier Mandatory event of the season.
ATP Tour Set for a Late April Return
The ATP Tour, meanwhile, is set to resume a week earlier.
While the decision isn’t final, the men’s tennis tour is scheduled to return on April 27.
The Estoril Open and the Bavarian International Championship, two ATP 250 tournaments, would be the first events played after the suspension.
Madrid is set to host both the WTA and the ATP Tour in early May, with the ATP’s first Masters 1000 tournament also starting on May 7.
The ATP has yet to announce a decision on the points ranking, as the points reset on a weekly basis.
With the cancelation of many 250, 500 and Challenger events, the suspension will likely require a temporary fix for the 2020 points standings.
Lower ranked players will be heavily affected as well since the cancelations represent a massive loss of income from prize money.
The ATP and the WTA have not released any statements on providing financial support to the players.
ITF Events Suspended
The International Tennis Federation, responsible for the third tier of professional tennis, has also decided to suspend its tournaments.
The ITF is also responsible for running the Davis and the Fed Cup, with the latter set to debut a new format in 2020.
While the Davis Cup’s December date hasn’t been affected, the Fed Cup was affected by the suspension.
The ITF has yet to make a decision on a new date for the 2020 Fed Cup Finals.
All four slams are run by the ITF.
The 2020 French Open will now happen in September, moving from its traditional slot in late May.
All events under the ITF umbrella, which include the Futures Tour and the Wheelchair Tennis Tour, will be suspended for five weeks.
ATP and WTA FAQ
Who is the Current ATP World Ranking Number 1?
Novak Djokovic has reclaimed the world number 1 following his Australian Open title.
Djokovic is currently undefeated in 2020 with a 16-0 record and will look to remain in form when the Tour resumes.
Who is the Current WTA World Ranking Number 1?
Ashleigh Barty remains the WTA’s world number 1.
Barty will have to defend most of her points during the second half of the year, so she should remain at the top right until the French Open.
When is the 2020 French Open?
The coronavirus pandemic led to the 2020 French Open getting postponed until September.
Initially scheduled to be played from May 24 until June 7, the 2020 French Open will be played from September 20 until October 4.