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All Levels Of Tennis–Juniors, College, And The WTA | ATP Pros–In Limbo Due To Coronavirus

By Ricky Dimon

The professional tennis tours, junior circuit, and now the college game are all being impacted by the spreading coronavirus (COVID-19). Scheduled to begin this week, the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells was the first domino to fall. Now another Indian Wells-based event has been cancelled, with the Easter Bowl–one of the most prestigious junior competitions–announcing on Wednesday that is is off.

Like the first Masters 1000 event of the season, this development stems from the Riverside County Public Health Department declaring a public health emergency for the Coachella Valley due to the coronavirus. As a result, the 2020 Easter Bowl will not take place. The event was to be held March 28-April 5, 2020 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Palm Springs.

“We are very disappointed that the tournament will not take place, but the health and safety of everyone involved with the Easter Bowl is of the highest importance,” said tournament director Lorne Kuhle. “We are exploring options to hold the event at another time.”

The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) has not taken any measures as of yet, but it is prepared to do so.

“[We] closely monitoring the situation surrounding Coronavirus (COVID-19) and its spread,” the ITA said in a statement on Wednesday. “We have been reading guidance by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, listening to such bodies and people as the NCAA and its Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Brian Hainline, as well as paying close attention to the decisions and actions of leading institutions of higher education and athletic conferences.

While the ITA is the governing body of college tennis, it does not possess the governance authority to suspend play for the entire sport of college tennis, which includes NCAA Divisions I, II, and III, as well as NAIA and JUCO.  Such decisions are the province of those respective governing bodies, as well as by individual conferences, colleges, and universities.

The ITA remains committed to the health, safety, and welfare of our student-athletes, coaches, and programs, as well as families and fans.

While competition continues, the ITA does encourage post-match sportsmanship gestures to substitute a light racquet tap, for example, for the traditional handshake or other close contact.

We trust that this difficult situation will pass soon enough and that life will return to normal. We all recognize that one of the great lessons of college sports is dealing with challenges and being resilient. Ultimately, individuals and institutions will have to use their best judgment and make their best-informed decisions as to their personal and institutional chosen courses of action.”

As for the ATP and WTA Tours, they are expected to announce on Thursday that all operations will cease for six weeks. That means all tournaments between now and April 27 will be either cancelled or postponed, barring an unexpected change of plans by the player councils.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

Editors Note: Rumor is Miami will cancel shortly… the sooner the better. It was sad to see the players not knowing what to do next. Do they stay or leave? We all ran the risk of being in lockdown. Most of our team has left or is leaving soon. As is the players and their teams lost money in airfares. Many flew in and flew back out. A coach friend did a 17 hour door to door to spend 24 hours in CA and flew home 17 hours. Monfils maybe just landed and turned around and left. As did KIM C • she spent 40 odd hours in CA. And back to Belgium. (LJ)

This is a photo of paradise • As we pull out of town headed to LAX • Miami Tennis is also finally cancelled.


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