Dear Player and Tournament Members,
Firstly, I hope that you are keeping well despite the difficult circumstances. It is hard to fathom what has happened in the world in the past few weeks and remarkable to think that, in ordinary times, yesterday would have seen the culmination of the first ATP Masters 1000 of the year in Indian Wells.
Sadly, these are no ordinary times and, as you know, we announced a further suspension of the Tour last week for the remainder of the full clay court swing, meaning the Tour will not resume before June 8. In parallel, we also announced a freeze of the ATP Rankings throughout this period. We are in close discussion with all the grass-court events and the current intention is for them to be take place as scheduled. At this time, we are looking towards the latter part of April for any decision to be made for events beyond the existing suspension. We will provide any updates as and when they occur – the reality is this is a rapidly evolving situation and there is no option other than to take this day-by-day, and week-by-week.
As restrictions on ordinary civilian life continue to tighten in a global effort to suppress and slow down the advance of this pandemic, these are challenging times for all. The impact of the COVID-19 is being felt across all society, as well as our own business. While this global crisis is bigger than any sport, we appreciate there are many questions relating to tournament operations, finances, the rankings and more. Firstly, we greatly empathise with the hardship that this situation is bringing to many, and we are working hard on evaluating all options. Understanding the full duration and scale of this crisis will be critical to addressing any measures related to its repercussions. As such, we must avoid making any rushed decisions without knowing first when the crisis will end – this remains an evolving situation which will require significant time to deal with in the coming weeks and months. In that sense, we ask for your patience and understanding, which will allow us to address any measures in the best way possible.
I would also like to mention the calendar, which is a frequent subject of speculation in the media. We continue to assess all options related to preserving and maximising the calendar based on various return dates for the Tour, which remains unknown. It goes without saying that full cooperation with the other governing bodies is essential at this time. We would also like to allay any concerns and assure you that any decisions will be made in full consultation with the membership as and when the picture becomes clearer.
The current suspension of the Tour leaves a big void in all our lives, however we are seeking to play our part over the coming weeks through our digital and social media platforms which, among other initiatives, has included the launch of a #tennisathome content campaign. We hope you can support our campaign and help us deliver some positive and fresh content to our fans over the coming weeks.
Before closing, while this is a time of considerable uncertainty for all, there is nothing more important than prioritizing health at this time. On a personal level, the stories I have heard from acquaintances at home in Italy are harrowing. The need to take this seriously, stay at home and practice responsible social distancing is paramount and we urge all of you – players and tournaments – to spread this important message through your respective platforms in the days and weeks ahead.
Take care, and we will be in touch soon with further updates.