The clay-court tennis season has fallen victim to the coronavirus pandemic after the ATP and the WTA announced the suspension of their spring programmes.
All professional tournaments, including the joint events in Madrid and Rome, have been postponed until June 7, although later dates in the calendar currently remain in place.
In a joint statement released on Wednesday evening, the ATP and WTA tours said: “After careful consideration and 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.
Joint Announcement: ATP & @WTA extend suspension of tours.
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.
— ATP Tour (@atptour) March 18, 2020
“This includes the combined ATP/WTA tournaments in Madrid and Rome, along with the WTA events in Strasbourg and Rabat and ATP events in Munich, Estoril, Geneva and Lyon.
“The professional tennis season is now suspended through 7 June 2020, including the ATP Challenger Tour and ITF World Tennis Tour. At this time, tournaments taking place from 8 June 2020 onwards are still planning to go ahead as per the published schedule.
“In parallel, the FedEx ATP Rankings and WTA Rankings will be frozen throughout this period and until further notice.”
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) March 17, 2020
The two governing bodies will continue to monitor the ongoing crisis as they look towards a resumption later in the year.
Following the French tennis federation’s announcement on Tuesday that the French Open was postponed until September – which took some players by surprise – the statement called for a united front.
The statement continued: “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.
“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, AELTC, Tennis Australia, and USTA.”