Tagged in: ATP

ATP, ITF announce six-week shutdown over virus

The ATP Tour reported Thursday that its tennis tour would be shutting down for six weeks out of concern for coronavirus.

The decision was made after the Players Council for both tours met Thursday.

“This is not a decision that was taken lightly and it represents a great loss for our tournaments, players, and fans worldwide,” ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said in a statement. 

“However we believe this is the responsible action needed at this time in order to protect the health and safety of our players, staff, the wider tennis community and general public health in the face of this global pandemic.

“The worldwide nature of our sport and the international travel required presents significant risks and challenges in today’s circumstances, as do the increasingly restrictive directives issued by local authorities. We continue to monitor this on a daily basis and we look forward to the Tour resuming when the situation improves. In the meantime, our thoughts and well-wishes are with all those that have been affected by the virus.”

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The WTA’s next two events – the Miami Open and the Volvo Car Open in Charleston, South Carolina, were canceled due to the coronavirus.

The WTA released a statement at 3:30 p.m. ET in which chairman and CEO Steve Simon said in part: “The WTA, working alongside our player and tournament leaders, will make a decision in the week ahead regarding the European clay court season.”

On Sunday, the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California — one of the biggest events on both tours’ schedules — was canceled after Riverside County officials reported a public health emergency earlier that day.

The Miami Open, the next event on both the ATP and WTA calendars, had announced on Monday that it would proceed as scheduled with matches slated to begin March 23 and run through April 5. That tournament was canceled when Miami mayor Carlos Gimenez announced Miami-Dade County was under a state of emergency. Like Indian Wells, it is one of the sport’s most prestigious and lucrative tournaments, following the four Grand Slams.

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Kyrgios gets 16 weeks’ probation by ATP Tour

Nick Kyrgios has been handed a suspended ban of 16 weeks and an additional fine of $25,000 for “aggravated behavior” following an investigation by the ATP.

The 24-year-old Australian, one of the most combustible characters in tennis, was fined $113,000 over a meltdown in Cincinnati last month and courted more trouble with the governing body of men’s tennis at the US Open describing it as corrupt.

In a statement, the ATP said: “The investigation found a pattern of behavior related to Kyrgios’s verbal abuse of officials and/or spectators in the past 12 months that constitutes a violation.” It added the player had five working days to appeal. The fine and suspension are deferred pending Kyrgios’s compliance with a set of conditions which will apply at ATP and Challenger Tour events during a six-month probationary period.

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Some of the conditions include no further code violations that result in a fine for verbal or physical abuse of officials, fans or any others on court or on site and unsportsmanlike conduct and any obscenity directed at officials. He was also told to seek “continued support” from a mental coach during tournaments and to consult a professional specializing in behavioral management in the off-season.

“Everyone, I can still play,” wrote Kyrgios on social media. “I just have to keep a lid on my behavior, that’s all.”

Kyrgios, who has won titles in Acapulco and Washington this year, had picked up the initial fine for unsportsmanlike conduct, verbal abuse and an audible obscenity in Cincinnati after arguing with the chair umpire and smashing two rackets during his second-round defeat by Russia’s Karen Khachanov.

He confirmed on Thursday before the ATP’s statement that he would miss events in Beijing and Shanghai after aggravating a shoulder injury he originally suffered at the Laver Cup.

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