By Ros Satar

  • Miami Open is cancelled by the Miami-Dade County due the public health threat of Covid-19
  • ATP confirms the tour will be suspended for six weeks
  • ITF suspends all their events until at least the week of Monday 20 April
  • WTA position statements as they come in
LONDON, UK – The Miami Open is shut down by the County, and the ATP Tour announces a six-week suspension.

 

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WTA position – Updated – Stuttgart, Istanbul & Prague also gone

After initially stating they would not rush into a six-week suspension, the WTA position was amended on March 16.

WTA statement on upcoming clay court swing:
Due to the ongoing global coronavirus outbreak, the WTA tournaments in Stuttgart, Istanbul and Prague will not be held as scheduled. We regret this is the case for all of our loyal fans, players, sponsors and all those who support women’s professional tennis.
At this point in time, the WTA Tour is now suspended until May 2. We will make a decision in the week ahead regarding the remaining WTA European clay court events and will continue to monitor this situation closely and its impact on the 2020 WTA Tour season.

 

Previously they had issued statements regarding just Charleston, followed by Bogota and Guadalajara.

Steve Simon, WTA Chairman and CEO: “Due to safety and health concerns surrounding the coronavirus, as well as the travel restrictions imposed on entering the United States from Europe, the Miami Open and the Volvo Car Open in Charleston will not be held at this time.
There isn’t anything more important than protecting the health of our players, staff, volunteers, and fans who attend our events, along with the general public. We are disappointed but the decision has been made in the interest of public health and safety, which is the top priority.  The WTA, working alongside our player and tournament leaders, will make a decision in the week ahead regarding the European clay court season.”

 

WTA Statement on Bogota and Guadalajara:

The local and national Colombian governments took measures today to cancel all public and private sports events of more than 500 people, as well as impose international border closures and travel restrictions due to the coronavirus outbreak. As such, the Copa Colsanitas in Bogota will not be held. Additionally, the WTA 125k in Guadalajara, Mexico has been cancelled. We are disappointed these events can not be held, but health and safety will always come first.

Miami Open cancelled

In a statement on Thursday, the Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez confirmed the cancellation of mass gatherings.

Miami-Dade is under a state of emergency as we deal with the public health threat of COVID-19.

Although we do not have community spread at this time, we want to take the pre-emptive steps to keep it that wat. Therefore, I have decided to suspend the operation of the Miami-Dade County Youth Fair, the Miami Open tennis tournament, the MIA 5K run, and all major events at the American Airlines Arena. As we move forward together during tis time, we will continue to monitor what the World Health Organisation has determined is a global pandemic. We will constantly evaluate planned mass gatherings as the situation evolves.

On the Miami Open website, the official statement reads:

The 2020 Miami Open Has Been Cancelled

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez has declared a state of emergency in Miami-Dade County and made the decision to suspend operations of the Miami Open due to the ongoing concerns regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Therefore, the 2020 Miami Open will not take place. We understand and support the Mayor’s decision as the health and safety of the community and everyone involved with the event remains our top priority.

Our team will be in touch in the coming days with ticket holders regarding refunds.

We thank our fans, players, staff and partners for their support, and look forward to welcoming everyone back to Hard Rock Stadium for next year’s Miami Open, March 24 – April 6, 2021.

 

READ MORE | Tennis | Coronavirus fears impacts tours and Fed Cup Finals with more to follow

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

 

ATP Tour suspended for six weeks

Shortly afterwards, the ATP Tour released a statement confirming that the tour will be shut down for a six weeks.

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.

Following the recent cancellation of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, the affected ATP Tour events are the Miami Open presented by Itau, the Fayez Sarofim & Co U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships in Houston, the Grand Prix Hassan II in Marrakech, the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, and the Hungarian Open in Budapest.

The six-week suspension comes in the wake of the World Health Organization’s declaration on Wednesday that COVID-19 constitutes a global pandemic and the 30-day travel restriction announced by the United States for foreign nationals from 26 European countries. The suspension follows numerous local government orders on restrictions, bans or cancellations of public gatherings or events. The ATP has been closely monitoring the rapidly evolving situation related to COVID-19, taking advice from medical experts and travel advisors and consulting with all local regulatory authorities, and will continuously review the feasibility of subsequent events in the calendar.

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.”

The suspension of ATP events takes place with immediate effect, meaning this week’s ATP Challenger tournaments in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, and Potchefstroom, South Africa, are not able to be completed.

The ATP is carefully reviewing the broad impact of this evolving situation related to FedEx ATP Rankings points, and any decisions will be announced in due course. In addition, in full collaboration with the ITF, FedEx ATP Rankings points will not be available at any ITF World Tennis Tour events during the suspension period.

 

ITF Postpones all ITF events until 20 April

The ITF COVID-19 Advisory Group has been continuously monitoring the global spread and impact of the COVID-19 virus, in consultation with medical, travel and security experts as well as the relevant international and national authorities. We are aware this situation is evolving on a daily basis.

Following today’s ATP announcement and based on our discussions with both Tours, the ITF is taking the precautionary measure to postpone all ITF-owned and sanctioned events, across the men’s and women’s ITF World Tennis Tour, the ITF World Tennis Tour Juniors, the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour, ITF Beach Tennis World Tour, and ITF Seniors Tour.

This will be reviewed on a weekly basis but no ITF events will take place until at least the week of Monday 20 April. We will work closely with our partners and other stakeholders, Regional and National Associations, to determine suitable alternative dates, with the goal of enabling the resumption of playing opportunities across each category as soon as the situation allows.

Professional tennis is a collaboration between the ITF, the ATP and the WTA. Our respective organisations will therefore work hard to keep those affected informed and to minimise disruption to playing schedules and rankings. Matches currently in progress – including those subject to a rain delay – may be completed today but cannot be carried over until tomorrow. Any matches yet to be started today will be postponed.

The health and safety of players, player support teams, event staff and spectators must be the priority. It is not possible to predict the length of time that tennis as a whole will be affected by COVID-19, but we will continue to monitor the situation and act accordingly.

 

WTA position

 

The WTA issued an update, as Charleston has now also been cancelled.

Steve Simon, WTA Chairman and CEO: “Due to safety and health concerns surrounding the coronavirus, as well as the travel restrictions imposed on entering the United States from Europe, the Miami Open and the Volvo Car Open in Charleston will not be held at this time.
There isn’t anything more important than protecting the health of our players, staff, volunteers, and fans who attend our events, along with the general public. We are disappointed but the decision has been made in the interest of public health and safety, which is the top priority.  The WTA, working alongside our player and tournament leaders, will make a decision in the week ahead regarding the European clay court season.”

 

WTA Statement on Bogota and Guadalajara:

The local and national Colombian governments took measures today to cancel all public and private sports events of more than 500 people, as well as impose international border closures and travel restrictions due to the coronavirus outbreak. As such, the Copa Colsanitas in Bogota will not be held. Additionally, the WTA 125k in Guadalajara, Mexico has been cancelled. We are disappointed these events can not be held, but health and safety will always come first.

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