WTA Tour now suspended until week beginning 2 May

hannahwilks in News 16 Mar 2020
Petra Kvitova in action at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in 2019 (DeFodi541)

The WTA Tour has announced that it is suspended until the week beginning 2 May.

The Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany was confirmed to be cancelled, after reports emerged that local authorities had said it was ‘off the table’.

In addition, the Istanbul Open (beginning 20 April) and the J&T Banka Prague Open (beginning 27 April) have been cancelled, meaning that all WTA Tour events are now suspended until the week beginning 2 May at the earliest.

The WTA statement read:

‘Due to the ongoing global coronavirus outbreak, the WTA tournaments in Stuttgart, Istanbul and Prague will not be held as scheduled. We regret this is the case for all of our loyal fans, players, sponsors and all those who support women’s professional tennis.

‘At this point in time, the WTA Tour is now suspended until May 2.’

The ATP Tour, while it was the first tennis authority to announce a suspension, has not yet cancelled tournaments due to take place at the end of its six-week suspension in the week beginning 27 April. There are two ATP Tour events scheduled for that week, the BMW Open in Munich and the Millennium Estoril Open. There are also four Challenger Tour events scheduled for the week beginning 27 April in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Savannah, Georgia, USA; Ostrava, Czech Republic and Rome, Italy.

The WTA Tour also said it anticipates making a decision in the next week about the remainder of the clay-court season.

‘We will make a decision in the week ahead regarding the remaining WTA European clay court events and will continue to monitor this situation closely and its impact on the 2020 WTA Tour season.’

The remaining WTA Tour clay-court events are:

Mutua Madrid Open, 2-9 May

A WTA Premier Mandatory event and an ATP Masters 1000 Series event for the men, the Mutua Madrid Open is played at the Caja Magica in Madrid, Spain.

Spain now has almost 8,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with the number of deaths climbing towards 300. On Saturday, the government banned people from leaving home unless they are buying essential supplies of food or medicine, or for work.

Internazionali BNL d’Italia, 11-17 May

A WTA Premier-5 event and an ATP Masters 1000 Series event, the Internazionali BNL d’Italia is played at the Foro Italico in Rome, Italy.

Italy is one of the countries which has been hit hardest by the pandemic, with almost 25,000 recorded cases. The entire country has been placed in lockdown since Monday 10 March, with people’s movements restricted and schools, gyms, museums, restaurants and all shops except for food shops and pharmacies closed.

Internationaux de Strasbourg, 17-23 May

An International-level event held at the Strasbourg Tennis Club in Strasbourg, France.

At the time of writing, 120 people have died of COVID-19 in France, which has well over 5,000 confirmed cases. Cafes, restaurants, cinemas and most shops are now shut.

Grand Prix de SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem, 17-23 May

The only WTA Tour event to be played on the African continent, this International-level event is played in Rabat, Morocco.

Morocco has halted flights from many countries and closed restaurants, cinemas and sports halls in an attempt to halt the spread of COVID-19, with 29 confirmed cases so far.

French Open, 24 May-6 June

The French Open, or ‘Roland Garros’ as it is known after the venue at which it is played in Paris, France, is not a WTA Tour event but is the two-week climax of the European clay-court season.

The second Grand Slam of the year is run by the French Tennis Federation (FFT), who have said that they will follow the government’s decision on whether or not to hold the tournament. Organizers have not ruled out the possibility of playing behind closed doors.