Tennis Article

WTA Tour Suspended till May 2 as Tennis Takes a Hit

WTA Tour Suspended till May 2 as Tennis Takes a Hit Photo: TT
The WTA tour has been suspended

The WTA has now postponed all tournaments until May 2nd at the earliest, because of the coronavirus. The tour was initially suspended until 20th April, but that has now been extended by a further two weeks, meaning the planned events in Stuttgart, Istanbul and Prague have now been cancelled.

And it could get worse, with a decision set to be made later this week about whether the remaining clay court tournaments on the European clay court circuit in Madrid, Rome and Strasbourg will go ahead as planned.

Meanwhile on the mens side, all tournaments on the ATP Tour and ATP Challenger Tour have been cancelled until 27th April, although, in the light of the decision by the WTA, that date too could be set for revision.

The pandemic has already led to the cancellation of a number of high profile events, including the Masters and Open tournaments in Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo and Barcelona. Another victim of the crisis has been the inaugural 12-team Fed Cup Finals, which will now be played at a later date.

These cancellations will have a huge impact on the sport financially, with tournament organisers, who may not have been insured against such an eventuality, and local economies all set to suffer.

And the loss of earnings will be keenly felt by lower ranked players in the game, as well as those who rely, directly or indirectly, on the sport for a living. These include coaches, physios, fitness trainers and other support staff, as well as the freelance security, media and hospitality community.

The impact of the suspension on world rankings will also need to be carefully considered by both tours as well. Currently these are determined based on the number of points accumulated by a player over the past year on a rolling basis. At the end of every event, players drop point earned the previous year and replace them with the points that they have earned in the tournament in which they have just taken part.

However, with so many tournaments cancelled, and players unable to defend the points they have earned, when tennis does resume, many players could see their rankings drop dramatically thorough no fault of their own. This, in turn, could affect their seedings, entries into main draws, and, as a consequence, their income as well.

Suneer chowdhary
Sports Pundit staff writer @suneerchowdhary
ICC-accredited cricket journalist, covers Team India through their cricketing journey around the world

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