As feared, both the WTA and ATP tennis tours and all ITF tournaments have had their suspensions extended until the end of July due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, officials announced on Friday.
Due to continued uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we regret to announce our decision to extend the suspension of the Tour. Just like tennis fans, players and tournament hosts all over the world, we share in the disappointment the Tour continues to be affected in this way. Andrea Gaudenzi, ATP chairman
“Due to continued uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we regret to announce our decision to extend the suspension of the Tour,” ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said in a statement.
“Just like tennis fans, players and tournament hosts all over the world, we share in the disappointment the Tour continues to be affected in this way.
“We continue to assess all of our options in an effort to resume the Tour as soon as it is safe to do so, including the feasibility of rescheduling events later in the season,” he added.
Gaudenzi finished by assuring fans that health and well-being remains paramount adding: “As ever, the health and well-being of the tennis community and wider public remains our top priority in every decision we make.”
ATP events in Hamburg, Bastad, Newport, Los Cabos, Gstaad, Umag, Atlanta and Kitzbühel will not take place as scheduled due to the extension of the suspension.
Tournaments scheduled from 1 August onwards are still due to take place as planned, although a further update on the ATP Tour calendar is due in the middle of June.
A WTA spokesperson said: “Following the announcement of the WTA Tour suspension through July 12, the WTA events in Bastad, Lausanne, Bucharest, and Jurmala scheduled for July will not be held, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“We regret this is the case but will continue to be guided by medical experts for when it is safe and possible to return to WTA competition.
“We continue to monitor the situation closely and are hopeful to be back on the court as soon as possible.
“A decision regarding the dates in which Karlsruhe and Palermo may be played along with further updates to the WTA calendar will be made in June.”
No professional tennis has taken place since the end of February with the French Open being postponed until September and both Wimbledon and the Olympics have been postponed until 2021, the cancellation of the 2020 grass court Championships occurring for the first time since World War II.
The US Open, which takes place at Flushing Meadows in New York at the end of August, is still pencilled in but no final decision has yet been made as to whether it will be safe for this event to go ahead.
Further updates regarding tennis in 2020 are expected to be announced in mid-June.
Meanwhile, the 2020 Hall of Fame Open and the International Tennis Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Induction Ceremony now will not take place this July as a result of COVID-19.
“With seats close to the action, tennis legends strolling the grounds, and beautiful grass courts, tennis in Newport has been a unique and special tradition nearly annually since 1881,” Todd Martin, CEO of the ITHOF said in a statement.
“While we will miss sharing this with you this year, the health and safety of all involved and our local community is the shared priority that we must all focus on at this time.
All ITF circuits and event categories scheduled to take place during the newly extended period are suspended, including ITF junior events, ITF senior events, the UNIQLO wheelchair tennis tour, the beach tennis tour and the men’s and women’s ITF world tennis tour.
“These are tough and disappointing decisions to make, but health and safety remain our primary concern,” said ITF President David Haggerty.
“We continue to review the global situation and assess all our options to resume international competition the moment it is safe to do so.
“We are working closely with tennis stakeholders to review the calendar and make the right decisions together.”
While the global pandemic continues to prevent international competition, the partial lifting of government restrictions in some nations has permitted the resumption of recreational tennis and national competitions.
The ITF has issued the following Return to Tennis guidelines for the staging of competitions with appropriate integrity, health and safety measures in place and advises recreational players to follow information and instructions from their national federation as they return to play.