Due to a coronavirus pandemic, the ATP had to cancel 13 ATP tournaments, including five Masters 1000 events. The organizers are hoping to start all over again in the second week of June after Roland Garros but the situation in Europe is getting worse every day, with the virus shutting down almost everything and threatening both the older and younger population.
After Acapulco, Dubai and Santiago at the end of February, the players gathered in Indian Wells ahead of the first Masters 1000 tournament of the season, leaving California after just a couple of days as the organizers had to cancel the event, followed by the same action from the Miami Open and all the tournaments scheduled for April and May.
The ATP has decided to freeze the ranking list until June, keeping all the points the players had gathered before Indian Wells and preparing for a fresh start in the virus starts to slow down. The 38-year-old Roger Federer will remain in the top-4 until then, losing one place on the list to Dominic Thiem but staying close to the top despite missing all the action at least until Halle.
Federer embraced another rock-solid season in 2019, winning four ATP titles in Dubai, Miami, Halle and Basel, defending the place in the top-3 behind Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic and keeping much younger opponents behind him.
Roger extended his record as the oldest Masters 1000 champion in Miami after beating John Isner, playing well on clay after skipping it for three years, reaching the semi-final at Roland Garros and gathering momentum ahead of grass season that saw him winning Halle and advancing into the final at beloved Wimbledon.
There, the Swiss wasted match points against Novak Djokovic, recovering from that setback to claim the title in front of the home crowd in Basel and advance into the semi-final at the ATP Finals. Federer skipped the ATP Cup to prepare for the Australian Open that saw him reaching the semis, struggling with a groin injury and, as we later found out, knee issues that forced him to undergo surgery in February, missing all the action until June and Halle when he plans to come back if everything goes right with a coronavirus.
The Swiss Fed Cup captain Heinz Guenthardt said Roger had picked a perfect time to undergo that surgery, not losing points and having a chance to catch the rivals once the Tour gets back to action, with all of them staying away from the court for longer than ever before.