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ATP Chief Eyes August Return But Admits It’s Possible Season Won’t Restart Amid Coronavirus

Milan: ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi stated Thursday that he remained optimistic the tennis season might resume in August however warned that not with the ability to play once more this 12 months was a risk as a result of coronavirus.

“Nobody knows when we can go back to playing in total safety: talking about August, September, November is all hypothetical, we can’t bang our heads against the wall for something that maybe won’t even happen because we could even start next year,” stated Gaudenzi.

Speaking throughout a phone interview with the Italian media from his dwelling in London, Gaudenzi stated he hoped that the season might return in August.

“We have made 50 versions of the calendar that we change day by day,” stated the 43-year-old Italian who took over as ATP boss in January.

“I am quite optimistic about autumn and even partially about summer,” he informed the Ubitennis weblog.

“If we manage to start again in August, we’ll save three Slams and six Masters 1000, otherwise the problems will increase tenfold.”

Tennis has been in lockdown since early final month and isn’t scheduled to return till July 13 on the earliest following the cancellation of Wimbledon for the primary time since World War II.

The determination to axe the game’s oldest and most prestigious Grand Slam occasion adopted the French Open’s unilateral change from its conventional May-June slot to September-October.

“There is a great concern, many questions – when will we play again? – and few answers, nobody knows when we will be able to resume,” the Italian stated.

“One thing is certain, we immediately chose health and safety as our primary strategy.

“We cancelled Indian Wells when the NBA was nonetheless taking part in, a dangerous technique as a result of in Indian Wells all of the gamers have been already there, desperate to play.

“We contemplated the option of playing behind closed doors, but then we immediately decided not.”

Gaudenzi stated ideally the ATP want to play 4 weeks on clay within the autumn after the US Open with tournaments in Madrid, Rome and the French Open.

There can be no sanctions towards Roland Garros organisers for his or her determination to postpone the event with out session, he pressured.

“Now we are working together,” Gaudenzi informed Gazzetta Dello Sport.

“Tennis needs unity, Paris acted out of fear, making a mistake. But they have recognised this.”

All this may rely upon the virus which has killed greater than 87,000 individuals and contaminated over 1.5 million with the United States and Europe hit arduous.

“I am confident that the season in America can begin with the August Masters 1000 in Toronto and Cincinnati and then the US Open.

“In this fashion three Slams and 6 Masters 1000 could be performed (there may be additionally Shanghai and Bercy) and the season could be 70 % protected.

“Of course, if the whole American slot were to skip, the difficulties would increase tenfold.

“We must have no less than six to eight weeks upfront of the choices, as a result of it takes time on an operational degree.”

Gaudenzi said the options were being examined in conjunction with the ATP Player Council including Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, and it was hoped the ATP Finals, scheduled for London in November 15-22 will go ahead.

To offset the blow to lower-ranked players and tournaments the ATP are also studying financial measures to help.

“Our system is strong, it will probably final a 12 months with out tennis, however no more than,” the ATP chief warned.

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