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ATP, WTA tennis tournaments through June 7 called off due to coronavirus

Rafael Nadal casts a shadow as he serves

Rafael Nadal casts a shadow as he serves to Diego Schwartzman at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament in Indian Wells, Calif. on March 12, 2019. Credit: AP/Mark J. Terrill

All men’s and women’s professional tennis tournaments through June 7 are being called off because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The ATP and WTA announced Wednesday that the entire clay-court circuit “will not be held as scheduled“ — a day after the start of the French Open, also played on that surface, was postponed from May to September. The tours had said last week they would suspend play until late April or early May.

The tournaments affected by the tours’ suspensions include combined men’s and women’s events in Madrid and Rome. Also being scrapped are upcoming WTA tournaments in Strasbourg, France, and Rabat, Morocco, along with ATP events in Munich, Estoril, Portugal, Geneva and Lyon, France. Both tours also said that their rankings will be frozen “until further notice.“ 

All events on the ATP Challenger Tour and the International Tennis Federation World Tennis Tour also were canceled. The men’s and women’s rankings will be frozen during this period of inactivity and until further notice, the statement said. The ITF said was cancelling its lower-tier events until June 7

The French Federation had been criticized for not involving all stake holders in its decision to move its dates to September a week after the U.S. Open in Flushing.

The joint statement from the WTA and ATP said: “All decisions related to the impact of the coronavirus require appropriate consultation and review with the stakeholders in the game, a view that is shared by the ATP, WTA, ITF, Tennis Australia and USTA.”

Interestingly, Wimbledon and the French Federation were left out of the statement. Wimbledon officials say they are going ahead with the original start date of June 29 but will consider their options.

Although anti-doping organizations around the world are dialing back on testing because of the coronavirus outbreak, Olympic athletes can still expect a knock on the door.

The International Olympic Committee has said it remains “fully committed” to opening the Tokyo Games on July 24, so testers are still visiting some athletes at a time when many people are trying to avoid social contact.

“Starting immediately, testing done by USADA will be focused only upon mission-critical testing of those in sports still competing and as needed for those preparing for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games,” Travis Tygart, the CEO of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, said in a video statement announcing cuts to its testing program.

The National Anti-Doping Agency of Germany is also cutting its testing, and signaled that calling off the Olympics would allow it to cut further.

“As the Olympic and Paralympic Games have so far not been canceled or postponed, it is important that the athletes have a fair chance of Tokyo. This also includes the necessary doping controls and the pre-Olympic test program,” the German agency said.

The IndyCar race in Long Beach, California, won’t be held this year. Officials with the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach said they pursued the possibility of rescheduling the popular race to a later date, but “trying to reassemble all the elements that have made the Long Beach event such a success does not appear feasible for 2020.“ The race had been scheduled for April 19.

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