The WTA tour has been suspended until May 2 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Forthcoming tournaments in Stuttgart, Istanbul and Prague will not take place as planned.

The latest cancellations follow those of the Indian Wells Open, Charleston Open and Miami Open in the United States, along with events in Bogota and Guadalajara.

The tour will make a decision on the status of its remaining European clay court tournaments later this week.

A WTA statement said: "Due to the ongoing global coronavirus outbreak, the WTA tournaments in Stuttgart, Istanbul and Prague will not be held as scheduled.

"We regret this is the case for all of our loyal fans, players, sponsors and all those who support women's professional tennis.
 
"At this point in time, the WTA Tour is now suspended until May 2. We will make a decision in the week ahead regarding the remaining WTA European clay court events and will continue to monitor this situation closely and its impact on the 2020 WTA Tour season."

The world's leading sporting competitions have been halted amid the coronavirus pandemic.

With almost 160,000 confirmed cases of the virus and close to 6,000 deaths, athletes across the globe are waiting to learn when they will return to work.

We take a look at the provisional return dates set out so far.
 

BASKETBALL

The NBA came to a sudden stop when a Utah Jazz player - later revealed to be Rudy Gobert - tested positive on Wednesday, and league commissioner Adam Silver warned the hiatus would "be most likely at least 30 days".

CRICKET

International cricket has been pushed back, but there are no firm dates as things stand for rescheduled matches. England's two-match Test tour of Sri Lanka was called off midway through a warm-up match, while the ODI series between India and South Africa was postponed after the first of three matches was washed out. Australia won an opening ODI against New Zealand behind closed doors, but the remaining two 50-over matches were delayed, along with a three-match Twenty20 series. There is at least a provisional date for the Indian Premier League to belatedly start: April 15, pushed back from March 29.

FOOTBALL

European football is at a standstill, with the Champions League among the elite-level competitions suspended. UEFA is set to meet to discuss the future of that tournament and Euro 2020 this week, while FIFA has advised postponements of upcoming international fixtures, for which clubs are no longer required to release their players. The Premier League, LaLiga and Serie A are all paused at least until April 3 although the Bundesliga has only called off one matchweek as things stand, while Ligue 1 is off "until further notice".

GOLF

The PGA Tour initially announced a three-week suspension, with The Players Championship stopped after its opening round. The Masters - won in 2019 by Tiger Woods - was therefore set to mark the Tour's return on April 9, but organisers soon announced the first major of the year would also be postponed. The RBC Heritage on April 16 is the next scheduled tournament. Organisers are planning "regular status updates in the coming weeks" amid "a very fluid situation that requires constant review, communication, and transparency".

MOTORSPORT

The Formula One season is still to start after races in Australia, Bahrain, Vietnam and China were postponed or cancelled. The Dutch Grand Prix on May 3 remains on at this stage, however, while managing director of motorsports Ross Brawn has suggested the calendar could be reshuffled, with races held in August. NASCAR has postponed events in Atlanta and Miami this and next weekend, and all IndyCar Series races through April have been cancelled.

RUGBY

Rugby league has largely been able to continue both in England and in Australia, but the same is not true of rugby union. Six Nations matches were among the first to fall by the wayside amid the crisis in Italy, with the Azzurri seeing matches against both Ireland and England postponed until later in the year. France versus Ireland was off, too, while Scotland's trip to Wales belatedly followed suit. Club action has ground to a halt, with Super Rugby finally paused this weekend and no return imminent.

TENNIS

After Indian Wells and then the Miami Open were cancelled, the ATP Tour announced its suspension up to and including the week of April 20. The WTA Tour preferred to call off individual events, but the schedule is now clear for five weeks. It was still to make a decision on the European clay-court season. The Fed Cup finals and play-offs - set for mid-April - have been pushed back, meanwhile, with the ITF vowing to address any impact the postponement may have on players' eligibility for Tokyo 2020.

OTHERS

Despite chaos surrounding various sports across the globe, Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe says the country is still planning for the Olympic Games in Tokyo to go ahead as scheduled in July. The London Marathon and the Boston Marathon will both still go ahead this year, but with revised dates of October 4 and September 14, respectively. The Giro d'Italia will be postponed and a new date for the race will not be announced until at least April 3 when a decree in Italy banning sport ends. The NBA is not the only American competition to be disrupted, meanwhile, with the 2020 MLB season moved back "at least two weeks" from March 26, and the NHL campaign paused indefinitely.

The coronavirus pandemic continued to lead to widescale disruption in the world of sport on Thursday.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has resulted in the ATP Tour being suspended for six weeks, while the PGA Tour will be played behind closed doors until April 5.

Football in Spain, the Netherlands, the United States and Portugal has been put on hiatus, while Champions League games between Manchester City and Real Madrid, and Juventus and Lyon have been postponed.

A second Serie A player has been confirmed to have contracted coronavirus, while the Utah Jazz announced a second positive test for COVID-19. Donovan Mitchell confirmed he was the latest individual with the infection, while Rudy Gobert is reported to be the other.

We look at the biggest events to have been impacted by the proliferation of the virus.

 

A six-week suspension was implemented by the ATP Tour, which it said came in the wake of the World Health Organization declaring the spread of COVID-19 constituted a pandemic and 30-day travel restrictions imposed by the United States.

ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said: "This is not a decision that was taken lightly and it represents a great loss for our tournaments, players, and fans worldwide. 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 WTA Tour was yet to follow suit, but the Miami Open has been scratched from its schedule after a state of emergency was declared in Miami-Dade County.

Following the news that LaLiga had suspended its next two matchdays and Real Madrid had established a self-imposed quarantine in the wake of one of their basketball players testing positive for COVID-19, Los Blancos' Champions League last-16 second leg against Manchester City on Tuesday was postponed.

The meeting between Juventus and Lyon has also been pushed back after Daniele Rugani was confirmed to have contracted coronavirus and the Serie A champions implemented isolation procedures.

UEFA will hold a videoconference with European football stakeholders on Tuesday to discuss the response to the outbreak. The talks will include all domestic and European competitions, including Euro 2020.

Bosnia-Herzegovina has requested its Euro 2020 play-off against Northern Ireland on March 26 be postponed, while Denmark expects its friendly against England five days later to be cancelled.

One game that has been cancelled is Wales' friendly against the United States on March 30.

Sampdoria announced Manolo Gabbiadini was the second professional Serie A player to test positive. The club said he had "a slight fever, but is otherwise fine". On Sunday Gabbiadini played 61 minutes against Hellas Verona, who also activated isolation procedures as a result.

Hannover confirmed a second case of coronavirus in their squad, with Jannes Horn following Timo Hubers in testing positive. All players from the German team will be under home quarantine for the next 14 days, with the club asking for their upcoming 2.Bundesliga games against Dynamo Dresden and Osnabruck to be called off.

Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers revealed three of his players have shown symptoms of coronavirus and have been isolated from their team-mates. Stats Perform understands all players put into isolation have only displayed mild symptoms, meaning they have not met the threshold to be tested for the virus.

In the Netherlands, all football has been cancelled until March 31. This includes amateur and professional games, as well as the national team's fixtures against the USA and Spain.

Portugal's Primeira Liga and the CONCACAF Champions League have been postponed for an indefinite period, while MLS has been suspended for the next 30 days.

Elsewhere in the USA, the NHL season has been paused. Comissioner Gary Bettman said: "Following last night's news that an NBA player has tested positive for coronavirus - and given that our leagues share so many facilities and locker rooms and it now seems likely that some member of the NHL community would test positive at some point - it is no longer appropriate to try to continue to play games at this time."

The PGA Tour will continue as scheduled, though fans will be barred from attending events starting from Friday at the Players Championship until the Texas Open, which finishes on April 5.

However, the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship has been cancelled due to potential logistical issues associated with players and staff travelling internationally.

The Washington Wizards have imposed self-isolation on players, coaches and basketball operations personnel for three to four days. The Wizards played the Jazz – who have confirmed two cases of coronavirus among their roster – on February 29 and the New York Knicks on March 10. The Knicks had a game with Utah six days before the Wizards did.

The Jazz's second positive test came after their game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday was called off. Mitchell said on Instagram: "Thanks to everyone who has been reaching out since hearing the news about my positive test. We are all learning more about the seriousness of this situation and hopefully people can continue to educate themselves and realise that they need to behave responsibly both for their own health and for the well being of those around them."

After the NCAA announced no fans would be permitted at March Madness, the American, Atlantic 10, C-USA, MAC, America East, Big East, Big Sky and WAC announced their conference tournaments had been cancelled.

The Washington Redskins became the first NFL team to announce a change in protocol in relation to the coronavirus. Redskins owner Dan Snyder said: "Due to health and travel concerns surrounding COVID-19, Redskins have informed all coaches and scouts to suspend all travel until further notice."

Promoters Top Rank have confirmed their upcoming boxing shows at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden will go ahead behind closed doors.

Shakur Stevenson is scheduled to defend his WBO featherweight world title against Miguel Marriaga in the main event on Friday's card in New York, while Michael Conlan headlines next Tuesday when he takes on Belmar Preciado in a 10-round contest.

The remaining two ODIs between India and South Africa will also be played behind closed doors, the International Cricket Council announced. There will also be no fans at Pakistan Super League games in Karachi.

In rugby union, the Pro14 has been indefinitely suspended. A statement said: "Resumption of the 2019-20 season will now become a matter of constant review. To this point Pro14 Rugby has ensured that it has the latest information and guidance made available by the local and national authorities via our participating unions in the UK, Ireland, Italy and South Africa."

However, the quarter-finals in the European Champions Cup and European Challenge Cup remain set to go ahead as planned.

The next two NASCAR events at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway over the next two weekends will be undertaken behind closed doors.

The Fed Cup finals and play-offs have been postponed by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) amid fears over the spread of coronavirus.

Multiple sporting events have been either suspended or cancelled in recent weeks as the virus continues to spread around the globe.

In Italy, all sporting events until April 3 have been postponed, while football matches across Europe are to continue to be held behind closed doors.

Earlier this week, the Indian Wells tournament – due to take place in California – was cancelled due to fears over the virus, which on Wednesday was declared as a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation.

The ITF has now taken the decision to postpone the Fed Cup finals, which were due to be held in Hungary between April 14 and 19 at the Laszlo Papp Sport Arena in Budapest, while the play-offs – set to take place on April 17 and 18 in eight different locations – have also been put on hold.

"After careful consideration and close discussion with the ITF Board, the Local Organising Committee and in light of [Wednesday's announcement by the Hungarian government regarding indoor events, it is with regret that the ITF has announced the postponement of the Fed Cup Finals," a statement on the Fed Cup's official website read.

"The ITF is committed to delivering the Fed Cup Finals in 2020 and is in consultation with key stakeholders, including the Hungarian Government, the Hungarian Tennis Association (HTA) and the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) to find a suitable alternative date for the tournament."

The Fed Cup is an Olympic Qualification event and the ITF has pledged to work alongside the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to address any impact the postponement may have on athletes' eligibility for Tokyo 2020.

"We are extremely disappointed to have to make this decision, but we will not risk the safety and welfare of players, captains, event staff or spectators," said ITF president David Haggerty.

"This decision has not been made lightly; the threat posed by the COVID-19 is a serious one and calls for us to act responsibly as a federation and as human beings. This situation goes beyond sport."

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.

Elina Svitolina claimed her first WTA Tour title of the year with a hard-fought win over Marie Bouzkova in the Monterrey Open final.

The Ukrainian top seed needed three hours to overcome Czech ninth seed Bouzkova 7-5 4-6 6-4 in the decider of the WTA International event.

It marked Svitolina's 14th Tour crown but first since late 2018, when she won the WTA Finals.

Bouzkova, playing her first WTA Tour final, battled hard before falling short against the world number seven.

Svitolina came from a break down to win the opening set before Bouzkova levelled the match by taking the second.

There were five breaks of serve in the final set, with Bouzkova recovering from 4-1 and 5-2 down to get back on serve before getting broken in the 10th game.

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.

Sofia Kenin claimed her first title since winning the Australian Open as she beat Anna-Lena Friedsam in the final of the inaugural Lyon Open

World number five Kenin landed her fifth career title and second of the season at the expense of Friedsam, whose resurgence following a series of shoulder injuries was halted as the top seed prevailed 6-2 4-6 6-4.

Kenin came through a gruelling battle in her semi-final against Alison van Uytvanck but was considerably more comfortable in the opening set here, grabbing two early breaks to open up a 5-2 lead.

It was not until game two of the second set that Friedsam got into her stride, winning a break of her own to get things back on serve but then missing an opportunity in the sixth as Kenin held her nerve to tie it up at 3-3.

Undeterred, the 26-year-old Friedsam finished the set strongly, firing three aces and winning a break point at 5-4 to tee up what might have been a tense final set had she not fallen 4-1 down in the decider.

Freidsam had no answer as Kenin grew in confidence and went a double break up behind some exquisite drop shots.

The world number 45 broke back and had some hope at 4-3 but Kenin came into the match on a six-match winning streak against German players and held firm to extend that run.

Interaction between players, spectators and ball kids in professional tennis is about to change drastically as the sport contends with the coronavirus outbreak.

New guidelines from the ATP and WTA, which operate the men's and women's tours, contain a series of "precautionary health measures" that will be rolled out in the coming week.

They will see major reductions in player contact with mascots, ball boys and ball girls, and fans, and will apply to all WTA and ATP events in the coming months.

Players will not be able to hand towels to ball kids in matches, as has been commonplace, and the same ball kids will wear gloves.

Stars of the game who are used to taking balls and pens from fans to sign post-match autographs have been advised to refrain from doing so, and they have also been urged not to throw used towels and sweatbands into the crowd.

Changes will come into play at the Indian Wells Masters in California, a high-profile ATP and WTA tournament where main-draw matches begin on Wednesday.

The likes of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are due to play the event.

A joint statement from the two tours said: "The health and safety of our players, fans, staff and tournament personnel is paramount and, as the outbreak of COVID-19 continues, these are common-sense precautions for us to take.

"We continue to monitor this closely on a daily basis, working with our players and tournaments, as well as public health authorities as the situation evolves globally."

The measures in full, as published by the two tours, are:

- Players and mascots will not hold hands when walking out on court.

- Ball kids will be provided with gloves to wear on court.

- Ball kids will not handle player towels during matches.

- Ball kids will not handle player drinks during matches.

- Players will be instructed to not distribute used towels, headbands, shirts, sweatbands, etc to fans following matches or practice.

- Players will not accept pens, tennis balls or other items to hold for autograph signing.

Elina Svitolina continued her impressive run to reach the Monterrey Open final, while Johanna Konta was beaten on Saturday.

Svitolina, the top seed at the WTA International event, crushed Arantxa Rus 6-0 6-1 in just 51 minutes in their semi-final.

The Ukrainian lost just nine points on serve and is yet to drop a set at this year's tournament.

Svitolina is into her 17th WTA Tour final and first of 2020, while she will be aiming for her first title since 2018.

Awaiting her in the decider is Marie Bouzkova, who beat second seed Konta 6-3 6-4.

Bouzkova, the Czech ninth seed, saved all five break points she faced to reach her maiden WTA Tour final.

Sofia Kenin will face the unseeded Anna-Lena Friedsam in the final of the Lyon Open after battling to victory in three sets against Alison van Uytvanck.

Australian Open champion Kenin was taken the distance by Van Uytvanck, who fired down 22 aces in the match.

It has proved an eventful week for Kenin, who saved match point against Romanian qualifier Jaqueline Cristian before stumbling into a third set in her quarter-final, despite establishing a 6-1 5-2 lead over Oceane Dodin.

But the world number five, who is the top seed in Lyon, held firm to prevail 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (2-7) 7-6 (7-2) and reach a sixth career final.

Germany's Friedsam, the world number 136, will enter that contest as a buoyant underdog after winning 6-3 3-6 6-2 against Russia's Daria Kasatkina, taking the spoils after eight breaks of serve in a contest that clocked in at two hours and six minutes.

"It feels great. It makes me feel that all the hard work has paid off. I'm super proud," Friedsam told the WTA's official website.

"She's a great player and very solid. She doesn't make any bad decisions. I tried to play to my strengths.

"I tried to use my power, push her out of court and get to the net. I think it worked today, but it was a hard fight and a hard battle."

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."

Top seed Elina Svitolina reached her first WTA semi-final of the season after accounting for teenager Leylah Fernandez at the Monterrey Open, while Johanna Konta prevailed in a marathon.

Svitolina had not progressed to a semi-final since last year's season-ending WTA Finals, but the Ukrainian ended her drought by defeating 17-year-old sensation Fernandez 6-3 7-5.

World number seven Svitolina needed 98 minutes to book her spot in the final four of the WTA International event in Monterrey on Friday as Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands awaits.

Swedish sixth seed Rebecca Peterson was humbled 6-1 6-1 by Rus in the day's final match.

Number two seed Konta produced a stunning comeback to trump Russian teenager Anastasia Potapova 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 7-6 (9-7).

Konta rallied from 5-2 down in the final set and saved two match points to outlast 18-year-old Potapova in a remarkable encounter in Mexico.

Next up is ninth seed Marie Bouzkova, who beat eighth seed Wang Yafan 6-2 7-5.

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