This past week has felt like an eternity, hasn’t it? The well-warranted major concerns over health and safety in the wake of the global coronavirus spread has resulted in a shut down of most significant sporting events – including those in tennis at all levels.
The ATP Tour has announced a minimum six-week break from competition, while junior events across Canada have also been scrapped for the time being. It’s an unprecedented global phenomenon, with information being updated by the minute.
The ATP has announced a six-week suspension of the men’s professional tennis tour due to public health & safety concerns over COVID-19.
— ATP Tour (@atptour) March 12, 2020
The WTA hasn’t announced full suspension just yet, but it seems like only a matter of time after the cancellations of major the WTA Premier event in Charleston as well as Fed Cup in April.
Should the WTA be making a more definite decision about a suspension, as the ATP did?@Steve_Weissman, @paul_annacone, @LDavenport76, and @thetracyaustin discuss now on #TCLive →https://t.co/tPoe44TDv0 pic.twitter.com/9Wj8w8f1Tb
— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) March 13, 2020
Tennis Canada has cancelled all National events until the week of April 6th.
All Tennis Canada events scheduled up until the week of April 6 will not take place.
Read more 📝: https://t.co/4xkkRkSB5k
— Tennis Canada (@TennisCanada) March 12, 2020
Postponing all major sports is certainly the right move in the interest of public well-being, but life without tennis for the foreseeable future will be challenging for those making a living in it. Many players that were in Indian Wells preparing for the BNB Paribas Open are as in the dark about this as the general public.
The overwhelming message from players is to stay positive and well-informed.
The whole world is going through a difficult period … I am obviously disappointed with this forced break, but we must all do our part to protect the most vulnerable people. I hope you all stay safe. https://t.co/l3W1OUehdI
— Félix AugerAliassime (@felixtennis) March 12, 2020
Stay safe & healthy everyone — Choose gratitude 🙏🏻❤️ pic.twitter.com/9J1rQglItO
— Sharon Fichman (@sharon_fichman) March 13, 2020
It’s time to leave Indian Wells and head back to Europe. It has been a strange week here with no tournament, but we are tennis players and our job is far less important than those on the frontline. We will play tennis again and in the meantime, let’s look after each other 🤗 pic.twitter.com/ySkNxT2zMF
— Petra Kvitova (@Petra_Kvitova) March 13, 2020
Tennis fans across the world are thinking the same thing, Shapo…
No thanks to social media, the panic COVID-19 has caused has also made grocery shopping quite interesting in parts of Ontario. 😂
— Genie Bouchard (@geniebouchard) March 13, 2020
According to CBC’s Devin Heroux, the Olympics, planned to begin on July 24th, will be going forward. The games are still a ways away, but it’s a drop of optimism in a sea of cancellations and postponements.
Canadian Olympic Committee tells me they are moving forward with all plans for Tokyo 2020 — and working on the basis the Games will begin July 24th, as scheduled. @CBCOlympics
— Devin Heroux (@Devin_Heroux) March 13, 2020
In the meantime, the Davis Cup draw was announced this week, with Canada set to play Sweden and Kazakhstan in Spain at the end of November.
— Davis Cup by Rakuten Madrid Finals (@DavisCupFinals) March 12, 2020
No doubt about it, life without sports sucks. As part of the fabric of society, sport and other cultural events are often turned to by people as a distraction from difficult times. But this is a bigger issue, and the steps that the global medical community is taking to combat the virus seem appropriate and effective.
Tennis will ultimately come back, but until then, we must listen to medical professionals and focus on the most important thing: staying safe and healthy.
In times of stress, sports act as an escape and distraction. It feels strange to be without that constant comfort. What we rely on to bring us together has been removed to keep us apart.
See you soon, sports.
— Caroline Cameron (@SNCaroline) March 13, 2020
(Feature image: Twitter/@atptour)