(CNN)All professional tennis tournaments have been suspended until June 7, ruling out the entire clay-our season, the sport’s two governing bodies have announced in a joint statement.
All men’s and women’s rankings have also been frozen until further notice. The two bodies — the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) — said “now is not a time to act unilaterally, but in unison.”
“The challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic to professional tennis demand greater collaboration than ever from everyone in the tennis community in order for the sport to move forward collectively in the best interest of players, tournaments and fans,” the statement read. The decision to extend the suspension because of the coronavirus pandemic comes after French Open organizers were criticized for moving the tournament to September.Read MoreThe new start date for Roland Garros falls just six days after the conclusion of the US Open, usually the season’s final grand slam.READ: French Open criticized for ‘selfish, arrogant’ reschedulingREAD: Facing ‘impossible’ situation, athletes criticize Olympic organizersTournaments taking place from June 8 onwards are set to go ahead as planned, but the joint statement added: “We are assessing all options related to preserving and maximizing the tennis calendar based on various return dates for the Tours, which remains an unknown at this time. “We are committed to working through these matters with our player and tournament members, and the other governing bodies, in the weeks and months ahead.”READ: Maria Sharapova, the ultimate competitor with a complicated legacy
Rafael Nadal will have to wait until September to defend his French Open title but, as things stand, Novak Djokovic will be able to defend his Wimbledon.Organizers of Wimbledon have said that the championships, due to be held over two weeks in late June and early July, will go ahead as planned.
Richard Lewis, chief executive of the All England Lawn Tennis Club, said in a statement: “While we continue to plan for The Championships at this time, it remains a continuously evolving situation and we will act responsibly, in the best interests of wider society.”We thank all of our Members, staff, players, partners, contractors and the public for their patience and trust as we continue to navigate this unprecedented global challenge.”