Tennis season may not resume this year, says ATP chief

Tennis season may not resume this year, says ATP chief

The ATP season may not resume this year. That’s according to ATP chief Andrea Gaudenzi. The ATP chairman is eyeing an August return but doesn’t rule out a complete washout of the season this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. “Nobody knows when we can go back to playing in total safety: talking about August, September, November is all hypothetical, we can’t bang our heads against the wall for something that maybe won’t even happen because we could even start next year,” said Gaudenzi.

Speaking during a telephone interview with the Italian media from his home in London, Gaudenzi said he hoped that the season could return in August. “We have made 50 versions of the calendar that we change day by day,” said the 43-year-old Italian who took over as ATP boss in January. “I am quite optimistic about autumn and even partially about summer,” he told the Ubitennis blog.

“If we manage to start again in August, we’ll save three Slams and six Masters 1000, otherwise the problems will increase tenfold.” Tennis has been in lockdown since early last month and is not scheduled to return until July 13 at the earliest following the cancellation of Wimbledon for the first time since World War II. The decision to axe the sport’s oldest and most prestigious Grand Slam event followed the French Open’s unilateral switch from its traditional May-June slot to September-October.

Gaudenzi said the options were being examined in conjunction with the ATP Player Council including Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, and it was hoped the ATP Finals, scheduled for London in November 15-22 will go ahead. To offset the blow to lower-ranked players and tournaments the ATP are also studying financial measures to help. “Our system is solid, it can last a year without tennis, but not more than,” the ATP chief warned.

The tennis calendar has been suspended due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The dangers of resuming public events threatens another outbreak of the deadly virus which makes ATP matches and Grand Slams a huge threat to public safety. Even if the severity of the pandemic reduces drastically in the next few months, resuming matches puts public at risk considering there still isn’t any cure to the virus. 

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