Andy Murray has expressed his sadness that Wimbledon has been cancelled but says health and safety must be the priority amid the coronavirus crisis.

The All England Lawn Tennis Club on Wednesday confirmed that the grass-court grand slam, which was due to start on June 29, will not go ahead for the first time since World War II.

That announcement had been expected due to the spread of COVID-19, which has killed more than 46,000 people worldwide.

Murray, a two-time winner of his home major in London, had hoped to make his latest return from a hip injury in Miami last month but it remains to be seen when he will make another competitive comeback.

The former world number one is naturally disappointed he will not play at SW19 and Queen's Club this year, yet he knows organisers had no alternative.

He posted on Facebook: "Very sad that the Fever-Tree Championships and Wimbledon have been cancelled this year but with all that is going on in the world right now, everyone's health is definitely the most important thing!

"Looking forward to getting back out on the grass next year already! Hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. #StayHomeSaveLives."

The ATP and WTA announced the suspension of their tours had been extended until July 13, but US Open organisers say the tournament will go ahead as scheduled as it stands.

Roger Federer says he is "devastated" while Simona Halep was left feeling "so sad" following the decision to cancel Wimbledon.

Organisers announced on Wednesday that the 2020 tournament will not take place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The ATP and WTA Tours have also been further suspended, with top-level tennis now not expected to resume until at least July 13.

Federer, who has won a record eight Wimbledon men's singles titles, had been planning to return to action in time for Wimbledon and the Olympic Games after undergoing knee surgery.

With both events now not taking place in 2020, the Swiss great tweeted to say he was "devastated" alongside a gif displaying the text 'There is no gif for these things that I am feeling'.

Reigning women's champion Halep was disappointed at missing out on the chance to defend her title this year, writing on Twitter: "So sad to hear Wimbledon won't take place this year.

"Last year's final will forever be one of the happiest days of my life! But we are going through something bigger than tennis and Wimbledon will be back! And it means I have even longer to look forward to defending my title."

Angelique Kerber, the 2018 champion, was left saddened to not only see Wimbledon and the Olympics called off but also the grass-court season as a whole.

"It goes without saying that I'm heavy hearted that the cancellation of the grass-court season also means that I won't be able to play in front of my home crowd in Bad Hamburg and Berlin..." she said.

"It's disappointing for me but also for all those who put their heart and soul into these events and for the fans who love our sport and support us players all year round.

"But I also know very well that there are more important things that we have to focus on right now and that professional sports have to take a step back for a while."

Rising American star Coco Gauff tweeted she would miss playing at the All England Club, while Petra Kvitova, winner in 2011 and 2014, said it was "definitely a tough one to take".

"Not only is it a special tournament to me, but it's a tournament that has been part of history for so long that it will leave a big hole in the calendar," Kvitova said.

"I will miss playing on the beautiful grass and wearing my whites, BUT of course we know it will be back better than ever next year. And maybe we will all appreciate it even more!"

In a message shared by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), Milos Raonic insisted the decision was "the right thing we have to do with everything that's going on around the world right now".

Marin Cilic, finalist in 2017, added: "Enjoy yourself at home. Now is the time to do some things that you don't have so much time to do when you're not at home."

US Open chiefs were taking stock of Wimbledon's cancellation on Wednesday but remained hopeful their grand slam would go ahead.

The coronavirus pandemic made it unrealistic to continue with planning for Wimbledon, which was due to begin on June 29 and run for two weeks.

However, the US Open is not due to get under way until August 24, and there is optimism that the Flushing Meadows event may still go ahead on schedule.

Its host city, New York, is being severely affected by the COVID-19 crisis, yet United States Tennis Association (USTA) officials are not rushing to abandon their major.

In a statement, the USTA said: "We understand the unique circumstances facing the All England Lawn Tennis Club and the reasoning behind the decision to cancel the 2020 Wimbledon Championships.

"At this time the USTA still plans to host the US Open as scheduled, and we continue to hone plans to stage the tournament.

"The USTA is carefully monitoring the rapidly-changing environment surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, and is preparing for all contingencies.

"We also rely on the USTA's medical advisory group as well as governmental and security officials to ensure that we have the broadest understanding of this fluid situation.

"In all instances, all decisions made by the USTA regarding the US Open will be made with the health and wellbeing of our players, fans, and all others involved in the tournament."

Rafael Nadal and Bianca Andreescu are the reigning US Open singles champions.

Wimbledon has been cancelled by the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision taken on Wednesday means the tournament will not go ahead for the first time since World War II.

The grass-court grand slam had been due to begin in London on June 29.

With the spread of COVID-19 putting sport across the globe on hold, the French Open - originally scheduled for May - has already been moved back to September.

An AELTC statement said the 134th Championships will now take place from June 28 July 11, 2021 instead.

Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep, the respective men's and women's singles victors last year, will consequently be defending champions for another 12 months.

Ian Hewitt, AELTC chairman, said: "This is a decision that we have not taken lightly, and we have done so with the highest regard for public health and the wellbeing of all those who come together to make Wimbledon happen.

"It has weighed heavily on our minds that the staging of The Championships has only been interrupted previously by World Wars but, following thorough and extensive consideration of all scenarios, we believe that it is a measure of this global crisis that it is ultimately the right decision to cancel this year's Championships, and instead concentrate on how we can use the breadth of Wimbledon's resources to help those in our local communities and beyond.

"Our thoughts are with all those who have been and continue to be affected by these unprecedented times."

The AELTC said the decision was taken to "protect the large numbers of people required to prepare the Championships from being at risk".

Richard Lewis, AELTC chief executive, added: "While in some ways this has been a challenging decision, we strongly believe it is not only in the best interests of society at this time, but also provides certainty to our colleagues in international tennis given the impact on the grass court events in the UK and in Europe and the broader tennis calendar."

Both the ATP and WTA followed the announcement by confirming the suspensions of the respective Tours will be extended until at least July 13, but US Open organisers plan to stage the tournament as scheduled as it stands.

Tennis, like every sport, has seen its calendar decimated by the COVID-19 outbreak, with the clay-court season completely wiped out and the Olympic Games having been postponed last week.

The decision to move the French Open back to September, after the US Open, sparked a backlash after ATP Tour Council member Vasek Pospisil said organisers had not consulted with players.

Wimbledon will be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to German Tennis Federation (DTB) vice-president Dirk Hordorff.

The grand slam is scheduled to begin in London on June 29 but may not be held for the first time since 1945, when there was no event due to World War II.

A decision on the tournament is expected in the coming week and Hordorff said Wimbledon officials would cancel the event.

"Wimbledon has stated that they will have a board meeting next Wednesday and will make the final decision there," he told Sky Sport on Sunday.

"I am also involved in the bodies of the ATP and WTA. The necessary decisions have already been made there and Wimbledon will decide to cancel next Wednesday. There is no doubt about it. This is necessary in the current situation.

"It is completely unrealistic to imagine that with the travel restrictions that we currently have an international tennis tournament, where hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world would travel. That is unthinkable."

The French Open, which was due to start in May, has already been postponed until later in the year and it remains uncertain when the ATP and WTA Tour seasons will resume.

Hordorff said it was difficult to push back Wimbledon, while adding the financial impact of a cancellation should not be too greatly felt.

"Wimbledon has its own laws due to the lawn and the special lighting conditions. Wimbledon was probably the only grand slam tournament many years ago predictive enough to insure itself against a worldwide pandemic, so that the financial damage should be minimised there," he said.

"Of course, Wimbledon also has enough reserves to last for several years. Wimbledon in the period September, October, when no-one knows whether you can play, would be unthinkable due to the lawn situation."

Wimbledon management will hold an emergency meeting next week to decide if this year's tournament will go ahead.

The All England Club is due to stage the grand slam from June 29, but the event is in doubt due to the ongoing global coronavirus crisis that has decimated the sporting calendar.

Both the ATP and WTA tours are cancelled until June 8 at the earliest, while Roland Garros officials opted to shift the French Open from May to September.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the All England Club (AELTC) revealed it has been looking into contingency options for Wimbledon since January, working closely throughout with the UK Government and public health authorities.

Organisers will convene to decide what steps to take, with postponement and cancellation expected to be discussed, but they have formally ruled out playing behind closed doors.

AELTC chief executive Richard Lewis said: "The unprecedented challenge presented by the COVID-19 crisis continues to affect our way of life in ways that we could not have imagined, and our thoughts are with all those affected in the UK and around the world.

"The single most important consideration is one of public health, and we are determined to act responsibly through the decisions we make.

"We are working hard to bring certainty to our plans for 2020 and have convened an emergency meeting of the AELTC main board for next week, at which a decision will be made."

Top-level tennis will not resume until the second week of June at the earliest, the men's and women's tours announced on Wednesday.

In a shared statement, the ATP and WTA said all tournaments through to June 7 would not go ahead as planned due to the continuing coronavirus outbreak.

The tours' stance follows Tuesday's announcement that the French Open would be moved, a step that appeared to catch both by surprise.

The apparent discontent over the decision by Roland Garros chiefs to move the clay-court grand slam from a May start to September - clashing with a host of tournaments - was reflected on Wednesday in the joint ATP and WTA statement.

It concluded by saying decisions over a revised tour schedule should be taken "in unison", adding that view was shared by the International Tennis Federation (ITF), Wimbledon's All England Club (AELTC), Tennis Australia and the United States Tennis Association (USTA). Tellingly, it did not mention the French Tennis Federation.

Whether it is possible to fit Wimbledon, the French Open and the US Open on this year's calendar remains to be seen. Wimbledon said on Tuesday it was still working towards a June 29 start date, albeit conscious that may not be possible.

Major events on the calendar, including the clay-court events in Madrid and Rome that were scheduled for May, now look highly unlikely to take place at all in 2020. The clay-court season has been effectively lost.

The ATP and WTA statement read: "After careful consideration, and due to the continuing outbreak of COVID-19, all ATP and WTA tournaments in the spring clay-court swing will not be held as scheduled. This includes the combined ATP/WTA tournaments in Madrid and Rome, along with the WTA events in Strasbourg and Rabat and ATP events in Munich, Estoril, Geneva and Lyon."

Both tours were already suspended, but there had remained a lingering hope the clay-court swing could still take place.

The statement said the extension also applied to the lower-tier ATP Challenger Tour and ITF World Tennis Tour, and announced that world rankings would be frozen "until further notice".

The ATP and WTA called for "greater collaboration than ever from everyone in the tennis community".

"Now is not a time to act unilaterally, but in unison," the tours said. "All decisions related to the impact of the coronavirus require appropriate consultation and review with the stakeholders in the game, a view that is shared by ATP, WTA, ITF, AELTC, Tennis Australia, and USTA."

The Laver Cup is planning to go ahead as scheduled in 2020 despite overlapping with the French Open following the latter's "surprise" announcement.

It was announced on Tuesday that the French Open, due to start in May, would instead begin in September because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But the September 20 start would see it overlap with the Laver Cup, which is set to be held in Boston beginning five days later.

Despite the overlap, the Laver Cup said it would proceed as scheduled later in the year.

"The tennis world learned today that the French Tennis Federation intends to schedule Roland Garros from Sept 20 – Oct 4, 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19," a statement read on Tuesday.

"These dates overlap with the dates of Laver Cup 2020, already sold out, and scheduled for September 25-27, 2020 at TD Garden in Boston.

"This announcement came as a surprise to us and our partners – Tennis Australia, the USTA and the ATP. It raises many questions and we are assessing the situation.

"At this time, we want our fans, sponsors, broadcasters, staff, volunteers, players and the great city of Boston to know that we intend to hold Laver Cup 2020 as currently scheduled."

US Open organisers are hoping the tournament can go ahead as scheduled in 2020 as they appeared to aim a dig at the French Open.

The French Open was pushed from a May start to September on Tuesday due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But that move seemed to come as a surprise to some players, with ATP council member Vasek Pospisil saying there was no communication with the players or the ATP.

It means Roland Garros is set to start just a week after the US Open ends with the men's final on September 13.

The US Open is prepared to push back the start of the tournament, and it seemed to aim a dig at the French Open over its lack of communication.

"The USTA is continuing to plan for the 2020 US Open and is not at this time implementing any changes to the schedule," read a statement posted by the US Open Twitter account on Tuesday.

"These are unprecedented times, though, and we are assessing all of our options, including the possibility of moving the tournament to a later date.

"At a time when the world is coming together, we recognise that such a decision should not be made unilaterally, and therefore the USTA would only do so in full consultation with the other grand slam tournaments, the WTA and ATP, the ITF and our partners, including the Laver Cup."

Wimbledon management have promised to "act responsibly" and insist they are preparing for the tournament to go ahead on schedule.

The French Open was moved on Tuesday from a May start date to September, taking players by surprise, with suggestions the men's and women's tours may also have been caught out.

In the fast-moving climate of concern over the coronavirus pandemic, the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club (AELTC) is preparing for Wimbledon to begin on June 29, but there is acknowledgement that may not be possible.

The AELTC said on Tuesday it has closed down parts of its grounds, including its museum, and many staff were working remotely.

Chief executive Richard Lewis stressed no risks would be taken in putting on the tournament.

He said: "At the heart of our decision-making is our commitment to the health and safety of our members, staff, and the public, and we are grateful to the government and public health authorities for their advice and support.

"While we continue to plan for the championships at this time, it remains a continuously evolving situation and we will act responsibly, in the best interests of wider society.

"We thank all of our members, staff, players, partners, contractors and the public for their patience and trust as we continue to navigate this unprecedented global challenge."

The French Open has been postponed and will be played in September and October, tournament organisers have announced.

The coronavirus pandemic has meant the men's ATP and women's WTA tours have been put on hold, with no indication of when tennis can resume.

That meant the original French Open dates of May 24 to June 7 looked incompatible with the prospect of hosting the grand slam.

Tournament organisers said the clay-court tournament in Paris would instead go ahead from September 20 to October 4.

A statement issued by Roland Garros officials said: "The current confinement measures have made it impossible for us to continue with the dates originally planned.

"The whole world is affected by the public health crisis connected with COVID-19. In order to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved in organising the tournament, the French Tennis Federation [FFT] has made the decision to hold the 2020 edition of Roland Garros from September 20 to October 4 2020."

FFT president Bernard Giudicelli confirmed the decision had been a reaction to the rapid spread of coronavirus.

France is currently on lockdown, in keeping with large parts of Europe.

Giudicelli said: "We have made a difficult yet brave decision in this UNPRECEDENTED situation, which has evolved greatly since last weekend. We are acting responsibly, and must work together in the fight to ensure everybody’s health and safety."

Qualifying for the French Open would have begun in the week ahead of the tournament, and with just two months until that point it seemed unimaginable that Paris would be ready to hold the event.

The Roland Garros statement added: "The current confinement measures have made it impossible for us to continue with our preparations and, as a result, we are unable to hold the tournament on the dates originally planned.

"In order to act responsibly and protect the health of its employees, service providers and suppliers during the organisation period, the FFT has chosen the only option that will allow them to maintain the 2020 edition of the tournament while joining the fight against COVID-19."

Rafael Nadal is the reigning men's champion and will be seeking a record-extending 13th French Open title this year, with Australia's Ash Barty the defending women's title holder.

With the French Open postponed, Wimbledon is due to be the next grand slam to be played, with a start date of June 29.

Maria Sharapova could have won at least 10 grand slam titles if she had not suffered a shoulder injury that took away "one of her biggest weapons", Michael Joyce believes.

Sharapova retired last week aged 32, revealing her body had become a "distraction" after being troubled by injury problems for much of her career.

The former world number one was out for nine months following a first operation in 2008 and coach Joyce had to work on remodelling the Russian's powerful serve in order to prolong her career.

Sharapova won the French Open twice following her return to take her major haul to five and complete a career Grand Slam, but could not add to that tally after a 2014 triumph at Roland Garros.

Joyce, who coached the global icon from 2004 to 2011, says it was a huge achievement just to come back from the surgery early in her career and is sure there would have been more major glory if she had not been so unfortunate with injuries.

He told Stats Perform: "What a lot of people don't realise is her coming back from that shoulder surgery was a win itself.

"We tried to do everything to not have surgery, but it got to a point where nothing we did was helping her.

"When the doctors went in I was there with her and the doctor came after about 30 minutes and said, 'Listen, I couldn't really do much, she had a tear in her rotator cuff, the way her shoulder is built I could have tightened it up, but then she could maybe not ever serve again'.

"He said he just cleaned it out, but told me I am the coach and have to figure out when she comes back if there is something mechanically she is doing or whatever.

"We'd had about a year of changing her service motion and trying different things, she went through a period where she was double-faulting, so people were questioning what we were doing and why she couldn't get the serve in.

"She had a great serve, but at the time her shoulder wasn't strong enough to do her normal long motion. She got back to the top 10 basically without one of her biggest weapons.

"The rest of her career I think she managed it, she could still serve big but I don't personally think it was anything like before she had the injury. I think if she hadn't hurt her shoulder she could probably have won double-digit grand slams.

"For her to come back and win the French Open a couple of times, because clay was her worst surface when she was younger, was because the serve is not as important on clay.

"For somebody to transform their game in a way to win more grand slams on their worst surface is incredible, it shows her resilience and determination."

Maria Sharapova insists there will be no farewell tour after she announced her retirement from tennis, with the Russian stating Kobe Bryant's death proved pivotal in her decision to bow out.

Sharapova – a five-time grand slam champion – confirmed her retirement on Wednesday, having struggled with injuries in recent years, while she also served a 15-month ban for testing positive for meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open.

The 32-year-old, who finishes her career at 373 in the WTA rankings and with 36 singles titles to her name, won her first grand slam at Wimbledon in 2004, aged 17.

Despite being one of the biggest names in tennis, Sharapova dismissed any idea of prolonging her time on the court, meaning her last appearance will be the defeat to Donna Vekic in the Australian Open in January.

"I don't feel I need to go on the court for the entire world and every fan to know that this is my last time on the court," Sharapova said in an interview with the New York Times.

"Even when I was younger, it was not the way I wanted it to end. As I think you've seen throughout my career, my perseverance has been my greatest tool, my greatest strength.

"But I've started feeling like it was becoming a weakness, because the stubbornness that was keeping me going was keeping me going for wrong reasons."

Having decided she should soon call it a day while flying from Australia to Los Angeles following her defeat to Vekic, Sharapova added that the death of basketball icon Bryant – who she said had been an "incredible sounding board" for her during her career – on January 26 made her mind up.

"We were supposed to see each other like three days after the crash," Sharapova said.

"I think we all seem at times in our journey like larger than life because of what we do, but everyone at the core is incredibly fragile.

"And if anything it just opens up your eyes to what really matters in life, so that was a moment where I had a really good think about my future as well."

Sharapova acknowledged it is difficult to leave her tally of grand slam titles at five, yet she has no regrets over calling time on her career.

"Look, would I have loved to have a sixth, a seventh, an eighth Grand Slam trophy?" she added. "That number sounds better, but I could have had zero, and I got myself to a pretty incredible place."

Roger Federer will miss the French Open after undergoing knee surgery on Wednesday, the 20-time grand slam champion has confirmed.

The 20-time grand slam champion was due to play in his second tournament of the year at the Dubai Tennis Championships next week after losing to Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals of the Australian Open last month.

Federer, 38, revealed on Thursday that he has been troubled by an issue with his right knee and underwent an arthroscopic operation in his native Switzerland, which should enable him to make a full recovery.

The world number three will sit out the second major of the year at Roland Garros in May, but expects to be back for the grass-court season.

Federer posted on Twitter: "My right knee has been bothering me for a little while.

"I hoped it would go away, but after an examination, and discussion with my team, I decided to have arthroscopic surgery in Switzerland yesterday.

"After the procedure, the doctors confirmed that it was the right thing to have done and are very confident of a full recovery.

"As a result, I will unfortunately have to miss Dubai, Indian Wells, Bogota, Miami and the French Open. I am grateful for everyone's support.

"I can't wait to be back playing again soon, see you on the grass!"

Novak Djokovic says winning trophies is not his main motivation as he sets out to have a career-best season in 2020.

Djokovic got the year off to a flying start, defeating Dominic Thiem to retain his Australian Open title and reclaiming the world number one spot from Rafael Nadal in the process.

The 17-time grand slam champion has now outlined his intention to have the best season of his career in 2020, as he aims to go all the way to gold at the Tokyo Olympics.

However, Djokovic insisted it is his love of tennis that inspires him, rather than the pursuit of trophies.

"For me, while everyone talks about trophies, that creates a lot of tension," Djokovic said at a news conference in Belgrade.

"I have my goals of course, trophies can make me proud and happy in the moment, but they can't fulfil me in life.

"My main inspiration is the joy I feel while I am holding a racquet. If that wasn't the case, I wouldn't be here. If I don't nurture that initial love then I can't be fulfilled. 

"I am motivated and inspired to have my best season this year. It is an Olympic year, which means that the schedule will be busy, not just for me, but for all the top players.

"There will be little room for rest after Wimbledon. I had the honour of winning a bronze medal in 2008 and somehow feel that maybe the time has come for another medal, I hope. I will do everything in my power to reach the peak at the Olympics."

Despite his success, Djokovic has never been able to capture the adoration of tennis crowds in the same way that Rodger Federer and Nadal have, yet the 32-year-old does not believe he is disliked.

"A lot has been written about how I am not loved. I don't like to talk about myself, but my personal impression is that I have a lot of support and sympathy for me," he said.

"When I play Federer or Nadal, the crowd supports them but that doesn't mean I am hated and that I should turn the whole of the Serbian public against the world.

"Even if people don't love me everywhere, why would I want to add fuel to the fire? I don't want to put too much attention on it, I don't want to deal with or think about negative emotions, hatred or anger. Sometimes I get distracted, I have outbursts.

"I admit that and I am not proud of it but I am a human being that makes mistakes and I try to become better every day.

"If I invest my energy in these stories that I am not loved, that story will keep growing and why would I want that?"

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