The professional tennis calendar lost more events on Wednesday when the men’s and women’s tours announced the cancellation of tournaments through June 7. That wiped out high-profile tournaments in Madrid and Rome, as well as women’s tournaments in Strasbourg, France, and Rabat, Morocco, and men’s events in Munich, Germany; Estoril, Portugal; Geneva; and Lyon, France.
The Women’s Tennis Assn., which represents female players, and the Assn. of Tennis Professionals, which represents the men, issued identically worded statements to announce that the spring clay-court swing would be canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. All events in 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 challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic to professional tennis demand greater collaboration than ever from everyone in the tennis community in order for the sport to move forward collectively in the best interest of players, tournaments and fans,” the statement reads.
“We are assessing all options related to preserving and maximising the tennis calendar based on various return dates for the Tours, which remains an unknown at this time. We are committed to working through these matters with our player and tournament members, and the other governing bodies, in the weeks and months ahead.
“Now is not a time to act unilaterally, but in unison. 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 ATP, WTA, ITF, [All England Lawn Tennis Club], Tennis Australia, and USTA.”
The last paragraph alludes to the decision made by organizers of the French Open to postpone this year’s tournament from June until Sept. 20, a move made without consulting players or consulting officials from other Grand Slam events. The new dates of the French Open, Sept. 20 through Oct. 4, conflict with the Laver Cup event and would provide little rest for players who reach the late rounds of the U.S. Open, which is scheduled to be played from Aug. 24 through Sept. 13. Officials of the U.S. Tennis Assn. had said on Tuesday they were “assessing all of our options, including the possibility of moving the tournament to a later date.”