This month’s Miami Open tennis tournament has officially been cancelled.
Tournament officials revealed Thursday that the tournament would comply with a state of emergency enacted by Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez and therefore not proceed. Days earlier, organizers insisted that the event, slated to run March 23 to April 5 at Hard Rock Stadium, would go on as planned despite growing health concerns.
“We understand and support the Mayor’s decision as the health and safety of the community and everyone involved with the event remains our top priority,” the tournament shared in a statement. “Our team will be in touch in the coming days with ticket holders regarding refunds. We thank our fans, players, staff and partners for their support, and look forward to welcoming everyone back to Hard Rock Stadium for next year’s Miami Open, March 22-April 4, 2021.”
The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), which oversees the men’s pro circuit, has followed in the footsteps of the NBA and other pro sports leagues by suspending its season over the global pandemic. ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi announced that the tour will not resume for at least six weeks, affecting as many tournaments.
“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,” Gaudenzi said in a statement. “The worldwide nature of our sport and the international travel required presents significant risks and challenges in today’s circumstances, as do the increasingly restrictive directives issued by local authorities. We continue to monitor this on a daily basis and we look forward to the Tour resuming when the situation improves. In the meantime, our thoughts and well-wishes are with all those that have been affected by the virus.”
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) told the Associated Press that the tour is not looking to suspend play but more information is forthcoming.
California’s BNP Paribas Open – often known as the fifth Grand Slam in tennis – was the first major U.S. sporting event to be cancelled over the coronavirus. Since then, several leagues across the country have been scrambling to adjust their schedules and safety protocols as the virus spreads.