ATP announces 6-week suspension amid COVID-19 concerns
The ATP is implementing a six-week suspension due to public health and safety concerns regarding the coronavirus, the tour announced Thursday.
All ATP Tour events up to and including the week of April 20 won't be held. After the recent cancelation of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, the affected tournaments include the Miami Open, Monte-Carlo Masters, and Barcelona Open.
The next Grand Slam on the calendar is the French Open, which is currently scheduled to begin in mid-May.
Thursday's announcement comes one day after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global pandemic.
"This is not a decision that was taken lightly and it represents a great loss for our tournaments, players, and fans worldwide," ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said. "However, we believe this is the responsible action needed at this time in order to protect the health and safety of our players, staff, the wider tennis community, and general public health in the face of this global pandemic.
"The worldwide nature of our sport and the international travel required presents significant risks and challenges in today's circumstances, as do the increasingly restrictive directives issued by local authorities. 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."
The WTA is yet to implement a similarly sweeping protocol, but did confirm that the Volvo Car Open, scheduled for April 4 in Charleston, South Carolina, will not be held.
"There isn't anything more important than protecting the health of our players, staff, volunteers, and fans who attend our events, along with the general public," WTA chairman Steve Simon said. "We are disappointed but the decision has been made in the interest of public health and safety, which is the top priority. The WTA, working alongside our player and tournament leaders, will make a decision in the week ahead regarding the European clay court season."