The WTA Rogers Cup was cancelled for 2020 on Saturday - a reality check amid suggestions that tennis might return to normal before long.

A major event on the women's tour in the run-up to the US Open, the Rogers Cup was held in Toronto in 2019 but was due to switch to Montreal this year.

It had been scheduled to run from August 7-16. The men's Rogers Cup, played in Montreal in 2019, moves to Toronto this year and is still due to go ahead on the dates it shared with the WTA event.

The Rogers Cup Montreal tournament became an inevitable casualty when the Quebec government declared on Friday that public sports, cultural events and festivals should not go ahead before August 31 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Montreal is the biggest city in the province of Quebec.

Before the cancellation was declared, Stats Perform was told tournament organisers hoped to reschedule for later in the year. It is understood talks to that end were held between Tennis Canada and the WTA, which runs the women's tour.

However, a solution could not be found, and a WTA spokesperson said: "As a result of the measures imposed by the Quebec government prohibiting holding events until August 31, 2020, the Coupe Rogers in Montreal will postpone their event to 2021.

"The WTA reiterates that health and safety will always be the top priority. We understand this was a difficult decision and we look forward to being back in Montreal in 2021."

The announcement means the usual rotation of the ATP and WTA events between Toronto and Montreal will be stalled temporarily, with Montreal keeping the women's event it could not hold this year. It will go ahead from April 6 to 15 in 2021.

All tennis on the WTA and ATP tours has been postponed until mid-July, forcing the cancellation of Wimbledon and the postponement of the French Open, which is now due to start in September.

Canadian Bianca Andreescu is the defending WTA Rogers Cup champion, having taken the title when Serena Williams retired after just four games of the 2019 final.

The tennis season suffered a fresh blow on Saturday when it emerged the WTA Rogers Cup in Montreal will not go ahead in August.

A major event on the women's tour in the run-up to the US Open, the Rogers Cup was held in Toronto last year but was due to switch to Montreal this year.

That was in keeping with the tournament's standard practice of alternating between the two cities. In turn, the concurrent men's Rogers Cup, played in Montreal in 2019, moves to Toronto this year and is still due to go ahead.

Scheduled to take place from August 7 to 16, the WTA event fell into doubt when the Quebec government declared public sports, cultural events and festivals should not go ahead before August 31 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Montreal is the biggest city in the province of Quebec.

Stats Perform was told by tournament organisers the event has been postponed rather than cancelled, with some hope it could be rescheduled for later in the year.

There is also an acknowledgement that may not be possible, given the busy WTA calendar.

Tennis Canada is discussing options with the WTA, which runs the women's tour.

All tennis on the WTA and ATP tours has been postponed until mid-July, forcing the cancellation of Wimbledon and the postponement of the French Open, which is now due to start in September.

Canadian Bianca Andreescu is the defending WTA Rogers Cup champion, having taken the title when Serena Williams retired after just four games of the 2019 final.

Kirsten Flipkens was left aghast after claiming to have learned via social media that the Indian Wells Open was cancelled.

Organisers confirmed on Sunday that the WTA event and the ATP Indian Wells Masters, which were both scheduled to start on Monday, had been called off due to concerns over the coronavirus.

The Riverside County Public Health Department declared a public health emergency on Sunday after a confirmed case in Coachella Valley.

World number 77 Flipkens reacted with angry surprise to a tweet from the official tournament account that confirmed it had been called off, saying: "And the players had to find out... through Twitter...".

When American player Nicole Gibbs replied to tell Flipkens "There was an email", the Belgian responded: "I saw it on Twitter first."

She also sent a message to the WTA and urged fellow professionals to share it, saying: "@WTA isn't the least you can do is [sic] organising an emergency meeting with the players????"

Rising American star Coco Gauff said she was "so sad" that the event had been cancelled. The 15-year-old had been due to make her debut at the event this week.

"Safety is always the no.1 priority," she tweeted.

Meanwhile, Jamie Murray expressed concern over the rest of the 2020 calendar given the Indian Wells tournaments were called off due to just one confirmed coronavirus case.

"Doesn't bode well for the tour if IW cancelled for 1 confirmed case in Coachella Valley," he wrote on Twitter. "Broward county (Miami Open home) has more confirmed cases. Monte Carlo borders northern Italy currently in lockdown. Rome Masters? French Open? Wimbledon?!!!"

In a statement following the Indian Wells cancellations, WTA chairman and CEO Steve Simon said: "It is too soon to speculate about what will happen to other tournaments that follow.

"We will continue to closely monitor the situation. Health and safety will always come first."

Three-time Indian Wells Masters champion Rafael Nadal said it was "so sad" to see the effect the coronavirus is having across the world after the first major tennis event was called off due to fears over the outbreak.

It was confirmed on Sunday that both the Indian Wells Masters and Indian Wells Open, which had been scheduled to start on Wednesday and Thursday respectively, would not take place amid concerns for the safety of players and fans.

The Riverside County Public Health Department declared a public health emergency on Sunday after a confirmed case of coronavirus in Coachella Valley.

Nadal, who won the Indian Wells Masters in 2007, 2009 and 2013, had been in California preparing for the tournament and said he was taking stock over what to do next.

"You probably all heard the news. Indian Wells cancelled," Nadal tweeted.

"We are here and still deciding what's next. So sad for all that is happening around the world with this situation. Hopefully soon solutions from the authorities. Stay all well and safe."

WTA chief Steve Simon was unwilling to speculate about future tournaments after it was announced the Indian Wells Open would not go ahead as scheduled.

Organisers announced on Sunday that the ATP and WTA Tour events at Indian Wells would not go ahead, just days out from when they were due to start, over fears about the coronavirus.

The coronavirus, which has killed more than 3,600 people worldwide, has impacted numerous sporting events.

Simon, the WTA chief executive and chairman, said it remained to be seen what would happen to future tournaments.

"First and foremost, there isn't anything more important than protecting the health of our players, staff, volunteers and fans who attend our events," he said in a statement.

"Based on the medical advice received on March 8, it is with regret that the 2020 BNP Paribas Open will not be held as scheduled this March. The WTA empathises with those affected by the coronavirus in this region and around the world.

"We are disappointed our fans will not be able to come out and watch the event, and our players are also disappointed to not compete over the next two weeks, along with the sponsors who support the event.

"However, we understand the decision which has been made in the interest of public health and safety, which is the top priority at this time.

"It is too soon to speculate about what will happen to other tournaments that follow. We will continue to closely monitor the situation. Health and safety will always come first."

Tournament director Tommy Haas said he was open to holding the event at a different time in 2020.

The Abierto Zapopan is scheduled to start in Mexico on March 16, eight days before the Miami Open is due to begin in Florida.

The Indian Wells Masters and Indian Wells Open will not go ahead as scheduled due to fears over the coronavirus.

The WTA and ATP Tour events were due to start on Wednesday and Thursday respectively, but organisers announced they would not go ahead amid concerns for the safety of players and fans.

The Riverside County Public Health Department declared a public health emergency on Sunday after a confirmed case of coronavirus.

Tournament director Tommy Haas said he was open to holding the event at a different time in 2020.

"We are very disappointed that the tournament will not take place, but the health and safety of the local community, fans, players, volunteers, sponsors, employees, vendors, and everyone involved with the event is of paramount importance," he said in a statement.

"We are prepared to hold the tournament on another date and will explore options."

Professor of medicine and biomedical engineering at the University of Southern California, Dr David Agus said: "There is too great a risk, at this time, to the public health of the Riverside County area in holding a large gathering of this size.

"It is not in the public interest of fans, players and neighbouring areas for this tournament to proceed. We all have to join together to protect the community from the coronavirus outbreak."

The coronavirus has killed more than 3,800 people worldwide, with more than 110,000 confirmed cases.

There have been more than 500 confirmed cases in the United States, with 21 deaths.

Bianca Andreescu will not return from her troublesome knee injury in time to defend her Indian Wells title next week.

The Canadian claimed the first championship of her WTA Tour career in California last year, kickstarting an outstanding 2019 season.

Andreescu claimed the Rogers Cup and then triumphed at the US Open, before a knee problem at the WTA Finals dealt her the latest setback of an injury-plagued career.

The world number four has not played since and will not be able to make her season debut at the upcoming WTA Premier tournament either, she revealed on Saturday.

"As many of you know, I've been working through an injury I suffered last year during the WTA Finals," Andreescu said.

"It's been a long road to recovery and, while I was looking forward to getting back on court and defending my title at Indian Wells, unfortunately I'm still not 100 per cent.

"I would like to thank you all for your continued support and [for] sticking with me on this journey. Your kind words have been so uplifting.

"While I am disappointed that I am not competing next week in a tournament where I have such great memories, I am focused on my recovery and rehab and working hard to get back on the court as soon as possible."

Former champion Simona Halep and last year's runner-up Angelique Kerber have withdrawn from the Indian Wells Masters.

Halep and Kerber will miss the WTA Premier Mandatory tournament in Indian Wells due to injuries, it was announced on Friday.

Indian Wells champion in 2015, world number two Halep cited a foot injury for her withdrawal.

Kerber – a three-time grand slam champion – succumbed to an ongoing left leg problem, replaced in the main draw by Taylor Townsend.

"I'm incredibly disappointed to have to withdraw from the 2020 BNP Paribas Open. Unfortunately the foot injury that I picked up before Dubai is still causing me trouble and I will be unable to recover in time to travel to Indian Wells," Halep, the two-time major champion, said.

"It is without doubt one of the highlights of the tennis calendar for me and I will be really sad to miss it, but I'm already looking forward to being back in 2021!"

Bianca Andreescu won Indian Wells last year and the US Open champion could still defend her title, despite injuries preventing her from playing in 2020.

Aryna Sabalenka proved too good for Petra Kvitova in the final of the Qatar Open, winning 6-3 6-3 to claim her sixth WTA Tour title.

Kvitova won the tournament in 2018 and had beaten world number one Ash Barty in the last four, yet she was unable to secure the victory that would have moved her back into the world's top 10.

Sabalenka's powerful serving and brutal groundstrokes were the difference, while she saved all five break points she faced in one game during the second set.

The triumph, Sabalenka's second successive Premier 5 title after her victory at the WTA Elite Trophy in September, ensured the 21-year-old will move to 11 in the world rankings, ahead of Kvitova at 12.

Sabalenka had two break points in Kvitova's opening service game and though the two-time Wimbledon champion held, she fell 3-1 down when failing to win a point two games later.

It took Sabalenka just 29 minutes to forge ahead in the match, one of seven aces delivering the first set.

Kvitova had multiple chances to break in the fourth game of the second set but, in a game that lasted over 10 minutes, Sabalenka held firm before bending in a winner to break and go 4-3 up.

Sabalenka had three championship points and though Kvitova rallied to save all of those, two pieces of fortune via the net cord helped the Belarusian seal the win in one hour and 14 minutes.

"It's a special moment. It was an amazing week this week," Sabalenka said in her on-court interview.

"I was enjoying every second on the court."

Petra Kvitova came through a see-saw battle with Ashleigh Barty to progress to the final of the Qatar Open, where she will face Aryna Sabalenka.

World number one Barty had survived a three-set clash with Garbine Muguruza to reach the last four in Doha, but two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova proved too strong on Friday.

Barty appeared to have the momentum after levelling the match by taking the second set in comfortable fashion.

However, an engrossing third went the way of Kvitova, even if was far from straightforward.

A sliced Barty backhand into the net gave Kvitova a break in the fifth game of the decider, only for the Czech to surrender it straight back when she fired wide off the same wing.

Yet a blistering crosscourt backhand return earned Kvitova the advantage again and a place in the final was secured when Barty looped a forehand wide to seal a 6-4 2-6 6-4 win for the 2018 champion.

Sabalenka's victory over Svetlana Kuznetsova was more routine.

The 21-year-old is making her debut at the tournament, but youth triumphed over experience in comfortable fashion as she needed only an hour and 17 minutes to prevail 6-4 6-3.

It is now 10 career WTA singles finals for Sabalenka, who has lost two of her three meetings with Kvitova, her solitary win coming at the 2018 US Open.

Ash Barty swept into the last 16 of the Qatar Open on Tuesday with a straight-sets dismantling of Laura Siegemund.

In her first match since the Australian Open, world number one Barty triumphed 6-3 6-2 in her opening match at the WTA Premier event.

Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin endured another difficult day, though, losing to 19-year-old Dayana Yastremska, while defending champion Elise Mertens also bowed out.

Karolina Pliskova, Belinda Bencic and Petra Kvitova all advanced, while Melbourne runner-up Garbine Muguruza was in imperious form as she dispatched Ajla Tomljanovic for the loss of just three games.

There were also wins for Saisai Zheng over Vera Zvonareva, Ons Jabeur against Jennifer Brady, Maria Sakkari over Tereza Martincova and Svetlana Kuznetsova against Iga Swiatek.

BARTY BLASTS OUT OF THE BLOCKS

Playing for the first time since losing to Kenin in the Australian Open semi-finals, Barty produced a disciplined performance to beat Siegemund in 73 minutes.

Barty hit 19 winners to 16 unforced errors but admitted she lost focus at some key moments.

"Happy overall to be able to switch on when I really needed to. Disappointing to have a few lapses in concentration but also a credit to my opponent, she came up with some really good stuff in runs to be able to break me a few times," she said.

Barty will face Elena Rybakina next after she battled to beat Alison Van Uytvanck 5-7 6-2 7-6 (10-8).

KENIN WOES CONTINUE

Kenin has now lost three times since lifting the first grand slam singles title of the season, the American slumping to a 6-3 7-6 (7-4) loss to Yastremska.

"It's really frustrating," she said. "Obviously coming off of Melbourne where I felt I was playing the best tennis of my life coming down to playing, not the worst tennis, but not playing the tennis I want to be playing."

Yastremska will now meet Muguruza, who wasted little time in beating Tomljanovic 6-1 6-2.

 

PLISKOVA CHARGES ON AS SEEDS PROGRESS

Pliskova was beaten in the quarter-finals in Dubai by Rybakina but looks determined to go the distance in Doha, producing an accomplished performance to oust Bernarda Pera 6-3 6-0.

Fourth seed Bencic was given a tougher time by Veronika Kudermetova before claiming a 6-4 4-6 7-6 (7-4) win that took more than two and a half hours.

Aryna Sabalenka edged a tight encounter with Anett Kontaveit 7-5 2-6 7-5, while Kvitova ended the challenge of Carla Suarez Navarro 4-6 6-3 6-0.

Defending champion Mertens is out, though, falling to Yulia Putintseva 4-6 6-3 6-2.

Amanda Anisimova claimed the scalp of an out-of-sorts Elina Svitolina and Petra Martic was among the other seeds who crashed out of the Qatar Open on Monday.

Svitolina has endured a disappointing start to the season and there was no upturn in fortunes in Doha, where she was beaten 6-3 6-3 in the second round.

Martic got past Barbora Strycova in the first round in Dubai last week, but the Czech gained revenge with a 4-6 6-1 6-1 victory to move into round two.

Alison Riske, the 13th seed, lost an all-American encounter with Jennifer Brady, while 17th seed Donna Vekic went down in straight sets to Iga Swiatek.

Kiki Bertens had no such trouble, winning 6-2 6-4 against Karolina Muchova to reach the third round, while Elena Rybakina came from a set down to oust Sorana Cirstea.

 

TEENAGER ANISIMOVA STARTLES SVITOLINA

Svitolina has won just four matches this year and it was 18-year-old Anisimova who inflicted another blow on the world number seven.

The American teenager claimed a first top 10 win of 2020, taking just 64 minutes to sail through in her first appearance in this tournament.

She struck 27 winners and saved all three break points faced and will take on either Swiatek or Svetlana Kuznetsova for a place in the quarter-finals.

 

RYBAKINA ROARS BACK

Rybakina suffered the agony of a defeat to Simona Halep in the final of the Dubai Tennis Championships on Saturday.

The 20-year-old rising star from Kazakhstan, up to a career-high 17th in the rankings, gave another demonstration of her fighting spirit by roaring back to beat Cirstea 3-6 6-3 6-1.

Rybakina already has 20 victories to her name this season and will be expected to make it 21 when she takes on Alison Van Uytvanck in the second round.

 

SUAREZ NAVARRO SETS UP BATTLE OF FORMER CHAMPIONS

Carla Suarez Navarro coasted to a 7-5 6-0 first-round victory over Zhang Shuai on day two of the tournament.

The Spaniard's reward will be a tough encounter with Petra Kvitova, two players who have experienced glory in Doha.

Suarez Navarro won the tournament in four years ago and Kvitova was crowned champion in 2018.

Simona Halep clinched her 20th career WTA title and first of 2020 as she overcame Elena Rybakina to win the Dubai Tennis Championship in thrilling fashion.

World number two Halep had to come from a set down against Rybakina, who put in a wonderful display and came within a break of securing her second title of 2020.

But the 20-year-old ultimately fell short in a final-set tie-breaker as Halep triumphed 3-6 6-3 7-6 (7-5) after two hours and 29 minutes on Saturday.

Halep, a Dubai champion in 2015, saved a break point in just the second game of the match but could not keep Rybakina at bay when the next opportunity came, going long in the sixth to fall behind.

Rybakina saw off two late openings to claim the set, only for Halep to make a brilliant start to the second and soon secure a trio of opportunities, breaking to love when Rybakina failed to pick out the left corner of the court.

Halep was made to work to consolidate the break but then had another two break points in the next game.

However, she passed up both opportunities, allowing Rybakina to roar back and break to love, with Halep signalling for her coach after going wide at the end of the rally.

Halep got the motivation she needed and chances came thick and fast in a mammoth game, which she eventually claimed en route to levelling the match when Rybakina slowed and a fourth break point was taken.

Momentum in the decider similarly swung back and forth, with Rybakina in control when Halep double-faulted before that advantage was immediately cancelled out.

A stunning volley put Rybakina 5-4 up, but Halep rallied to hold serve before breaking in the next game to take a 6-5 lead.

Yet Rybakina was not beaten and, at the second attempt, broke serve to force the tie-break.

Rybakina squandered the chance to take a 6-4 lead in the tie-break on her own serve, though, and Halep duly took advantage, with an overhit return handing the Romanian her second triumph in Dubai.

Simona Halep cruised into her first final of the year after a devastating 6-2 6-0 semi-final defeat of American qualifier Jennifer Brady at the Dubai Tennis Championships.

Top seed Halep came through a testing quarter-final with Aryna Sabalenka, but her last-four match was significantly more straightforward on Friday.

Halep blitzed through the encounter in just 62 minutes, the 2015 champion appearing way more at ease than in the pair's first-round clash at the Australian Open in January, when Brady succumbed 7-6 (7-5) 6-1.

World number two and two-time grand slam champion Halep faced only two break points in the entire match and she saved both, while she also hit 16 winners to eight unforced errors in a performance she felt was almost perfect.

"It's fun when you feel the ball and when you can do anything you want," Halep said. "Today it was one of those days, I could open the court easily. I felt like every time I hit the ball, I feel it.

"It's always a nice opportunity and privilege to play the last match of the tournament. I play for another trophy, so I'm relaxed. I'm focused. I really want it."

Elena Rybakina will be Halep's next opponent, with the Kazakh securing progress to a fourth final already this year.

Rybakina showed her resilience to come through a gripping duel with eighth seed Petra Martic, saving set points in both sets before eventually winning 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-2).

The 20-year-old has already beaten Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin and former world number one Karolina Pliskova in Dubai, and now she is aiming for the biggest scalp of the lot – and Halep knows she will need to be aggressive to upset the upstart's rise.

"It's amazing what [Rybakina's] done already this year," Halep added. "I saw her a little bit during some matches.

"She has a big serve. I have to pay attention on my return and to be like today: confident, aggressive if there is a chance, just fighting. It's the best thing to do now."

Simona Halep survived a scare against Aryna Sabalenka as she fought back from a set down to progress into the Dubai Tennis Championships semi-finals.

Halep, appearing for the first time since a run to the last four at the Australian Open, lost to Sabalenka in their most recent meeting - in Adelaide in January - but had won her prior two encounters with the world number 13.

Despite trailing in the first set, the world number two rallied in the second thanks to three breaks of serve, before cruising in the decider to wrap up a 3-6 6-2 6-2 win over her Belarusian opponent.

The Romanian, a Dubai champion in 2015, will now go up against Jennifer Brady, whose run of upsets continued as she overcame Australian Open finalist Garbine Muguruza to claim her third straight top-20 triumph.

Having already knocked out third seed Elina Svitolina and Marketa Vondrousova in previous rounds, Brady moved into the semis with a 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-4 win.

It is the first time in Brady's career that the American has made it into the last four of a WTA Premier event, though she was not fully satisfied with her performance.

"I wasn't feeling my best," she said in quotes reported by the WTA's official website. "Maybe I didn't play my best tennis, but I just found a way to stay in there, compete and come out on top."

The other semi-final will see Elena Rybakina, whose fine run continued with a win over Karolina Pliskova, meet Petra Martic.

Dubai debutant Rybakina has started 2020 in fine form and dispatched world number three Pliskova on Thursday, completing a 7-6 (7-1) 6-3 success in one hour and 41 minutes.

It means Rybakina has made her fourth semi-final in five tournaments so far this year, with a tie against Martic - who beat Anett Kontaveit 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 - her reward.

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