With news that the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells would not be held due to concerns about the spread of coronavirus, it raised the question of what other tennis tournaments might be forced by COVID-19 to cancel or postpone.
The answer, as of 12th of Match 2020 is several as the ATP Tour has now suspended the tour for 12 weeks and events scheduled up to and inclusive of the week of June 7th will not take place.
The decision was kick-started after Indian Wells was forced to pull the plug after a case of the coronavirus was confirmed in the local Coachella Valley area.
That caused Riverside County Public Health Department to declare a public health emergency and along with a minimum of 539 other cases counted in the U.S. across 34 states, it was deemed enough of a public health risk to postpone the event.
While the possibility of playing behind closed doors was looked into, it was ultimately rejected by tournament officials and the news broke on Sunday evening.
We are very disappointed that the tournament will be canceled, but the health and safety of the local community, players, volunteers, fans, sponsors, employees, vendors, and everyone involved with the event is of great importance. We are prepared to organize the tournament on another day and will explore options. Tommy Haas, Indian Wells Tournament Director
Then on the 12th of March after a crisis meeting, the ATP decided that the tour was to be suspended for a period of six weeks.
This is not a decision that was taken seriously and it represents a great loss for our tournaments, players, and fans over the world. However we believe this is the responsible action necessary at this time in order to protect the health and safety of our players, staff, the tennis community and general public health in this pandemic. The nature of our sport and the international travel required presents huge risks and challenges in today’s context, as do the increasingly restrictive directives issued by local authorities. We continue to manage this on a daily basis and we look forward to the Tour recover when the situation improves. In the meantime, our thoughts and well-wishes are with all those that have been affected by the virus. Andrea Gaudenzi, ATP Chairman