Former Italian top-20 player Andre Gaudenzi became an ATP Chairman at the beginning of the season, having to deal with serious issues caused by the coronavirus pandemic only a couple of weeks later. Things went according to the plan in the ATP calendar until the end of February, with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic winning titles in Acapulco and Dubai, respectively.
Players went to Indian Wells in the first days of March but were forced to go home or stay in the USA, with the coronavirus halting all the action at least until the second part of July but probably for much longer. World no.
2 Rafael Nadal is a pessimist about the restart of the season, switching his focus to 2021 and hoping everything would get back to normal before the Australian Open. On the other hand, Gaudenzi is a little bit more optimistic, leaving the door open to see some action in the remaining months of the current season, trying to think six to eight weeks ahead and reveal the plan for the second part of July and August as soon as possible.
Gaudenzi mentioned Roger Federer's proposal of merging the ATP and WTA under one organization, working hard on all these things and monitoring the situation in different parts of the world to make the best steps for both the players and the fans who are desperate to see some tennis again.
"It would be unwise to call it quits now," Gaudenzi told Reuters. "Nobody knows what will happen and we want to keep an optimistic overview. There could be a subset of options, which is playing with closed gates or deciding how to deal with travel restrictions.
Still, we have not made these decisions so far because they are all hypothetical scenarios. We have set a deadline of May 15 for the tournaments that should go on in July after Wimbledon, and June 1 for the events scheduled for August.
In principle, we are dealing it six to eight weeks in advance, having enough time to make a decision. Longer than that, it would be foolish to make arrangements. Their announcement might be a little bit later; we don't know yet.
Once we get to the beginning of June, we will probably know more about the American summer. You can have an estimate that it's going to be reasonably challenging and unlikely that all these countries will align with one single policy relating to travel restrictions.
Australia is probably in a completely different phase than the United Kingdom at the moment, with a completely different approach in Sweden as well, where we could play a tournament today. Still, we can't get 100 players from different countries to Sweden and that's a challenge.
Roger Federer made a great effort; I hope it's just the beginning of a future productive collaboration, which is much needed in our sport if we want to grow and become one of the best. I am very pleased with the outcome.
The question is that nobody knows how long it will last. If we can go back to play fairly soon, I think we are going to be okay. But if it lasts for long, it will get difficult because obviously, the money will run out."