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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday May 15, 2020

 
Citi Open

The ATP and WTA Tours have extended the current suspension to at least August 1.

Photo Source: AP

The ATP and WTA Tours have pushed back their projected start dates until the beginning of August, with more news expected to come on the rest of the summer swing in June.

Tennis Express

“ATP events in Hamburg, Bastad, Newport, Los Cabos, Gstaad, Umag, Atlanta and Kitzbühel will not take place as scheduled,” the ATP wrote on its website. “The extended suspension also applies to the ATP Challenger Tour and to men’s events on the ITF World Tennis Tour.”

The WTA released a similar statement on Friday.

“WTA events in Bastad, Lausanne, Bucharest, and Jurmala scheduled for July will not be held, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” it said on its website.

The WTA has temporarily left events in Karlsruhe and Palermo on the calendar, with an expected update to come in June.

Both tours say that events from August 1 onward are still scheduled to proceed.

The statement by the ATP, which uses the terminology “will not take place at this time” did leave some room for potential rescheduling of events for later in the season, but some have already chosen to cancel.

According to Bret McCormick of Sports Business Journal, 46 ATP/WTA events have now been directly affected by the Covid-19 crisis. Events in Atlanta and Newport have already decided to cancel and plan for 2020. The 2020 Hall of Fame Induction ceremony in Newport has also been moved to 2021. In Hamburg event planners are hoping to reschedule for later in the season; the same for Kitzbuhel.


Events in Washington, D.C. (Citi Open) and San Jose, California (Mubudala Silicon Valley Championships) would be the next tournaments to be played if the season was able to resume in August.

Many are skeptical that tennis will be able to resume at that point, due to the various complications caused by the pandemic. There are 4.5 million confirmed cases worldwide, and the United States has over 1.4 million of them, including over 86,000 deaths.

The necessary travel just to get the players into the United States could be difficult. Tournaments are working on contingency plans, such as playing with limited spectators or without fans entirely, in the hopes that they can start the tour again before the end of the summer.

In the meantime, privately owned events without spectators have popped up to fill the void. Events in Germany and the United States were aired on Tennis Channel in early May, and next month the Ultimate Tennis Showdown is set to begin in the South of France, at the Patrick Mouratoglou Tennis Academy.

Players have begun to train again across Europe, with the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy opening its doors this week, as well as the Rafael Nadal Tennis Academy in Spain.


But without a set date for competition to begin, it will be difficult for players to tailor their training and target a specific date to ramp up their efforts.

“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,” ATP CEO Andrea Gaudenzi said in a statement. “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. As ever, the health and well-being of the tennis community and wider public remains our top priority in every decision we make.”


 

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