ATP Tour shuts down for six weeks because of outbreak

The ATP Tour has postponed all play for six weeks "due to escalating health and safety issues" arising from the coronavirus outbreak.

All tournaments on the ATP Tour and ATP Challenger Tour are cancelled until 27 April.

The Miami Open was cancelled earlier on Thursday, following the postponement of Indian Wells and the Fed Cup Finals.

“This is not a decision that was taken lightly,” said ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi.

“It represents a great loss for our tournaments, players, and fans worldwide. 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.”

There has been no announcement yet regarding the WTA Tour.

Following meetings of the ATP and WTA player councils in Indian Wells, it became clear that a significant number of professionals did not feel happy about playing on through the crisis.

The ITF had already postponed April’s inaugural 12-team Fed Cup Finals in Budapest in the light of Hungary’s decision to limit indoor public gatherings to 100 people.

As well as the loss of Indian Wells and Miami, the start of the European clay-court season will be severely affected.

The ATP events in Monte Carlo and Barcelona are among the tournaments that have been cancelled.

There will be huge consequences for some of the tournament owners, who may not be insured against such a scenario, as well as for local economies.

A loss of earnings will also be a major worry for lower-ranked players, not to mention the travelling band of coaches and support staff, and the freelance hospitality, security and media community.

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