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By Richard Pagliaro | Tuesday, March 31, 2020

 
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The coronavirus could claim the 2020 season, Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said.

Photo credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve

The coronavirus crisis could cancel the 2020 season, Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley suggests.

COVID-19 has killed more than 40,000 since the outbreak began. Many nations are on lockdown with severe travel restrictions.

More: Wimbledon Will Cancel

Given the global health crisis, Tiley said it will be tough for tennis to resume the 2020 season.

"My personal view is I think for tennis to come back this year is going to be tough," Tiley told The Sydney Morning Herald.

"It relies on global travel, and I think that's probably the last thing that's going to come back. I think sports that have a domestic focus are in a strong position and sports that have a global focus are more challenged."

The ATP and WTA canceled the spring clay-court season and announced a joint aim to relaunch the pro circuit on June 7th.

The Tokyo Olympic Games were rescheduled until July, 2021. Roland Garros unilaterally shifted its scheduled May start to September 20th.

Wimbledon will reportedly announce it will cancel The Championships marking the first time in 75 years the grass-court Grand Slam will not be contested.

Tennis Express

Tiley said only when global travel is safe can tennis think about resuming. Given the fact experts have said it may well be more than a year before a coronavirus vaccine is widely available, the AO tournament director doesn’t see the game resuming any time soon.

"We've got to plan for the worst and hope for the best," Tiley said. "Tomorrow morning we wake up and there is some miracle cure or some concoction of drugs that really helps, or they're on a path to a vaccine. From all the literature you read, it doesn't seem likely in the immediate future.

"(When) you can travel globally is when tennis can come back, from a pro level. From a local level, we can start right away and that's what we would be focused on at the beginning."


 

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