ATP and WTA announce extension to suspension as Wimbledon is cancelled due to coronavirus
The ATP and WTA have confirmed the continued suspension of the Tours until July 13, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The extension comes following the announcement that Wimbledon has been cancelled for the first time since the Second World War.
“Regrettably, the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic leaves us with no choice but to suspend the Tour further; a decision we’ve made in close cooperation with our members and the other governing bodies of tennis,” said Andrea Gaudenzi, ATP Chairman.
“Health and safety remains the top priority as we navigate the challenges ahead in these unprecedented times, and we will do everything we can for the Tour to resume at the earliest opportunity once it is safe to do so.”
“This was a decision that the WTA and its members did not take lightly, however we remain vigilant in protecting the health and safety of our players, staff and fans,” added Steve Simon, WTA Chairman and CEO.
“While we share in the disappointment of the season’s further postponement, our priority remains to support each other during this unprecedented time and work together as a sport in preparation of our return to play.”
As a result, ATP tournaments in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Stuttgart, Queen’s, Halle, Mallorca, Eastbourne and WTA’s events in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Nottingham, Birmingham, Berlin, Eastbourne and Bad Homburg have been cancelled.
The statement from the ATP and WTA came moments after the much expected confirmation from SW19 that Wimbledon will not go ahead.
Ian Hewitt, AELTC Chairman, said: “This is a decision that we have not taken lightly, and we have done so with the highest regard for public health and the wellbeing of all those who come together to make Wimbledon happen.
“It has weighed heavily on our minds that the staging of The Championships has only been interrupted previously by World Wars but, following thorough and extensive consideration of all scenarios, we believe that it is a measure of this global crisis that it is ultimately the right decision to cancel this year’s Championships, and instead concentrate on how we can use the breadth of Wimbledon’s resources to help those in our local communities and beyond.
“Our thoughts are with all those who have been and continue to be affected by these unprecedented times.”
Richard Lewis, AELTC Chief Executive, added: “While in some ways this has been a challenging decision, we strongly believe it is not only in the best interests of society at this time, but also provides certainty to our colleagues in international tennis given the impact on the grass court events in the UK and in Europe and the broader tennis calendar.
“We have appreciated the support of the LTA, and the ATP, WTA and ITF in coming to this decision, and our friends and partners who stage these grass-court events that are so important in the build up to Wimbledon.
“I would like to thank the UK Government and public health authorities for their guidance and support, and we will do whatever we can to assist their efforts in tackling the crisis.
“Finally, I would like to thank all those who love Wimbledon for their understanding of these unique and unquestionably challenging circumstances. It is your passion for The Championships that has shaped our event over the years, and will continue to do so, and we look forward to preparing a fantastic Championships for 2021.”
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