Events over the next six weeks of the ATP Tour have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Association of Tennis Professionals announced on Thursday that following the escalating risks around the outbreak of COVID-19, cancellations would be enforced.
This comes after the first Masters 1000 event of the year at Indian Wells, California was suspended last week following the first case of coronavirus being detected in the West coast state.
The suspension will see a large part of the clay court season missed. The tournaments to be cancelled include two more Masters 1000 events in Miami and Monte Carlo, as well as popular tournaments in Barcelona and Houston. See the bottom of this article for the full listing of cancelled tournaments.
The next scheduled tournaments currently set to go ahead are the Estoril Open in Portugal, and the Bavarian International Championships in Munich, both set to start 27th April. Following this, back to back Masters events in Madrid and Rome are planned for the week after.
ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi has said: “This is not a decision that was taken lightly and it represents a great loss for our tournaments, players, and fans worldwide.
“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.”
Players such as world number two Rafael Nadal have also expressed their concerns. The 19 time Grand Slam winner tweeted: ‘So sad for all that is happening around the world with this situation. Hopefully soon solutions from the authorities. Stay all well and safe.’
Recent Australian Open finalist Dominic Thiem also reacted with sadness to the news. He tweeted: ‘Unfortunately we have to wrap up and leave without playing a tournament here in the states! I’m very sorry for all the fans and people who worked hard the entire year to make these tournaments special and unique.’
As well as the main ATP Tour, the ATP Challenger Tour will also face suspension. Two Challenger events in South Africa and Kazakhstan were suspended this week during play. In South Africa, British 18 year old and future hopeful Jack Draper had looked impressive in a straight sets first round win, and was 5-4 up in a deciding second round set when the decision was taken.
The ATP say they are ‘carefully reviewing the broad impact’ of the situation, and further decisions of suspensions may be announced in due course.
Cancelled events with original start dates:
23rd March: Miami Open- ATP Masters 1000
6th April: US Men’s Clay Court Championships, Houston- ATP 250 event
6th April: Grand Prix Hassan II, Marrakech- ATP 250 event
13th April: Monte-Carlo Masters- ATP Masters 1000
20th April: Barcelona Open- ATP 500 event
20th April: Hungarian Open, Budapest- ATP 250 event