Women’s Sport: WTA and ATP tour on the verge of shutdown until May

Following pressure from both male and female players, The ATP tour and the WTA tour are facing cancellation until the Madrid Open at the start of May. 

The decision is yet to be finalised, but if it is given the green light, then no Tennis will be played during this time frame, as concerns over the Coronavirus grow ever stronger.

Multiple competitions have already been affected so far, including the inaugural 12-team Fed-Cup finals, which were postponed last Wednesday, and this week’s Indian Wells tournament, which was cancelled last Sunday after a case of Coronavirus was detected locally.

Meetings were held between ATP and WTA player councils and it became evident that a number of players did not feel comfortable playing.

These two events are not the only competitions that have been affected however. The Women’s Six Nations, International Gymnastic World Cup qualifiers and many more have also been postponed or cancelled.

The second grand slam of the year- The French Open, is due to get underway on the 24th May, but the clay court season leading into this will be severely hampered if both tennis federations vote in favour of shutting down the season. Women’s tournaments in Stuttgart and Charleston are among those that will be cancelled.

The impacts of these cancellations are likely to be widespread, as tournament owners and local economies may not have contingency plans in place and could suffer economically as a result.

For those players that are also ranked lower, a loss of earnings could have an effect on their livelihood.

At present, the Coronavirus is continuing to spread, and the World Health Organisation has now declared the outbreak a pandemic. There will inevitably be more sporting events cancelled in the coming days, but for the time being, people’s safety must come first.

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