The recent outbreak of Corona virus (COVID-19) and the spate in number of infected and deaths, has brought the world to a grinding halt. The crisis, which has been declared a Pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO), has spread across 152 countries as per the latest reports. All major engagements/activities involving people in large numbers have either been cancelled or postponed.
Tennis Tournaments Cancelled Due to Corona Virus
Sports across the world has been one of the major victims of the Corona outbreak. All tennis tournaments across the world have been cancelled till 20th April. The ATP tour is on hold till 27th April while the WTA will have 5 weeks of halt.
Joint Announcement: ATP & @WTA extend suspension of tours.— ATP Tour (@atptour) March 18, 2020
Due to the continuing outbreak of COVID-19, all ATP and WTA tournaments in the Spring clay-court swing will not be held as scheduled.
Similarly, the ITF tournaments that witness players from across the world, in various categories, will resume only by mid-April. The reason stated for the cancellation is “escalating health and safety issues” due to the COVID-19.
Some of the major exciting tournaments, planned for the coming weeks, namely, Miami Open and BNP Paribas stand cancelled. Tommy Haas, director of Indian Wells (BNP Paribas) broke the news saying, “We are very disappointed that the tournament will not take place.”
Clearly it is an upsetting news, for those organizing the annual tours. While BNP was to feature Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal with the spectators usually accounting to 450,000, Miami as a venue offers a different vibe to the players.
Ankita Raina Will Have to Wait to Make Fed Cup
The Fed Cup finals, that were to be held in Budapest, Hungary from 14 -19 April have been cancelled but without an alternate date. The other matches with the lower ranked teams were slated to take place across 12 nations. And India, which made history by qualifying for the play-offs for the first time, riding on Ankita Raina’s sensational performance will now have to wait.
Nadal Wants Uncertainty Over Corona Virus to End
While Jim Chardy said, “I no longer know if I am unemployed, on paternity leave or tennis player”. Sania Mirza share a video on the precautions of corona virus. “I hope it is controlled, that a remedy is found and this uncertainty is stopped, this psychosis, this fear,” Nadal told reporters at the Mexican Open.
Opportunity Lost To Improve The Rankings
The cancellation of major tournaments is a great loss for the players looking to improve their rankings. While the option of playing with no audience did pop up, but finally it was decided against it, as the ATP and WTA do not see that as a possibility.
The players, organization committees, fans and media will all be left to leave tennis aside for a while. The WTA said “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
An Opportunity for Roger Federer
But is there someone smirking in the corner over this news? Indeed! It’s Roger Federer and his supporters. Roger announced last month that he shall be off the tour for a surgery and will return after the clay season. Seems the Gods already knew the events that were to unfold!
French Open Postponed Due to Corona Virus
As a tennis fans, we really hope the clay season does not suffer. The players will skid through the dirt at Munich, Madrid and Rome Masters (as of now) – the anticipated events before the commencement of Roland Garros.
However, in the wake of the current confinement situation in France the organizers have decided to postpone the start from May 24 to September 20, with a conclusion on October 4.
“We have made a difficult yet brave decision in this UNPRECEDENTED situation, which has evolved greatly since last weekend. We are acting responsibly, and must work together in the fight to ensure everybody’s health and safety,” said Bernard Giudicelli, President of the FFT.