By Ros Satar

  • ATP Masters 1000 and WTA Premier Indian Wells abruptly cancelled on eve of the start of qualifying
  • Fed Cup Finals and play-offs are postponed
  • Clay court season set to be severely disrupted
LONDON, UK – After the abrupt cancellation of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, the tours are contemplating a six-week shutdown in light of the rapid coronavirus spread worldwide.

 

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Sunshine Double first to be impacted – Player reactions

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On the Sunday before the tournament was due to start with qualifying rounds, a decision was taken to cancel one of the largest tournaments outside the running of a Slam.

READ MORE | Tennis | ATP & WTA Indian Wells | Tournament cancelled after one confirmed Covid-19 case in region

 

 

Miami seemed to feel that the two-week hiatus would not affect them, but things move very quickly in this landscape and matters were complicated when Fabio Fognini’s father tweeted that he had been told that the tournament had been cancelled. However at the time of writing, this had not been confirmed either by the tournament or the tour itself.

Taro Daniel posted that Novak Djokovic, who felt that Miami should not be played, was heading out before official cancellation of the tours.

Details are currently being thrashed out and a decision regarding the tours and an decision is expected on Thursday.

 

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Fed Cup Finals and play-offs are postponed

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Following confirmed cases in Hungary, the country declared that public gatherings of more than 100 people indoors would be banned. This had immediate impact on the planned fed Cup Finals and Play-offs as the ITF moved quickly to make its decision.

It said, in a press release: The ITF COVID-19 Advisory Group has been monitoring the global spread and impact of COVID-19 since early February 2020, in continuous consultation with independent medical and travel advisers as well as international and national authorities.

After careful consideration and close discussion with the ITF Board and the Local Organising Committee, and in light of today’s announcement by the Hungarian government prohibiting public indoor gatherings of more than 100 people, it is with regret that the ITF announces the postponement of the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Finals. The event was originally scheduled to take place 14-19 April at the Laszlo Papp Arena in Budapest. Event organisers will be contacting all ticket holders in the next 48 hours to advise them of their options.

The ITF is committed to delivering the Fed Cup Finals in 2020 and is in consultation with key stakeholders, including the Hungarian Government, the Hungarian Tennis Association (HTA) and the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) to find a suitable alternative date for the tournament. The Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Finals is an Olympic Qualification event and the ITF is working closely with the IOC to address any impact on athlete eligibility for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

In addition to the Fed Cup Finals, the Fed Cup Play-Offs due to take place on 17 and 18 April in eight locations around the world have also been postponed and alternative dates in 2020 will be announced at a later date.

ITF President, David Haggerty said, “We are extremely disappointed to have to make this decision, but we will not risk the safety and welfare of players, captains, event staff or spectators. This decision has not been made lightly; the threat posed by the COVID-19 is a serious one and calls for us to act responsibly as a federation and as human beings. This situation goes beyond sport.

“New dates for the Finals and for the Play-Offs will be announced in due course and will primarily be guided by the length of time that tennis as a whole is affected by COVID-19. We will continue to collaborate with our colleagues across the sport to ensure that the impact on players, tournaments, rights holders and fans is as minimal as possible.

In the meantime, the ITF COVID-19 Advisory Group will continue to monitor the situation closely and further decisions will be based on the facts, official data and expert advice.”

 

Clay court season set to be severely disrupted

So exactly what tournaments will be affected if the ATP and WTA Tours go ahead with this mid-season shut-down?

  • ATP Masters 1000 & WTA Premier Indian Wells – CANCELLED
  • WTA $125K Guadalajara
  • ATP Masters 1000 & WTA Premier Miami
  • WTA Premier Charleston
  • ATP 250 Houston
  • ATP 250 Marrakech
  • WTA International Bogota
  • ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo
  • ATP 500 Barcelona
  • WTA Premier Stuttgart
  • ATP 250 Budapest
  • WTA International Istanbul
  • ATP 250 Estoril
  • ATP 250 Munich
  • WTA International Prague

 

The tours are looking to start once more in the run-up to Roland Garros, starting with the ATP Masters 1000 and WTA Premier combined tournament in Madrid.

 

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