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Coronavirus Shelves Professional Tennis At Least Through Clay-Court Swing

By Ricky Dimon

This week on the 2020 pro tennis calendar should have been headlined by the latter stages of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., annually the first Masters 1000 tournament. Later this month, another Masters 1000—the Miami Open—would have taken place in Miami, Fla.

The coronavirus crisis has since postponed Indian Wells, canceled Miami, and halted the professional tennis tours at least through the clay-court swing–including the French Open.

“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,” the two tours wrote in a joint statement earlier this week. “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.”

That June 8 best-case scenario would be a resumption of play on grass in ‘s-Hertogenbosch (ATP and WTA), Stuttgart (ATP), and Nottingham (WTA). Those tournaments would be followed by an ATP 500-point event at Queen’s Club and then Wimbledon in late June and early July.

It has to be said that the chances of Wimbledon going on as scheduled are questionable at best. There does, however, seem to be a realistic possibility that two more Grand Slams could get played in 2020. As always, the U.S. Open does not come around until late August and early September. More notably, in a controversial move on Tuesday the French Tennis Federation announced that the French Open is moving to late September and early October. In fact, it is now scheduled to begin only one week after the U.S. Open ends.

That’s right; in the span of five weeks, four could involve Grand Slam tennis.

Although everything looks like doomsday right now, there is at least some chance for a big finish to the 2020 campaign.

Hopefully.

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

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