With the cancellation of tournaments due to the coronavirus sending players into a tailspin, the first concern is health. The second is income. And a third: ranking points.
Initial announcements had the ITF suspended until April 20, the ATP until April 27, and the WTA until May 2. But on Wednesday, the tours showed unity by pushing the earliest start date to June 8, and at the same time, freezing all rankings.
If they hadn't made that call, the affects to certain players would have been catastrophic. For example:
On Tuesday, Roland Garros announced that it is moving its start date to September 20. But what to do with the 2,000 ranking points its champions earned last June? (Its new calendar conflict with 10 WTA and ATP events, including Laver Cup, is another story.)
The suspension has called off Indian Wells and Miami, which offer 1,000 points to each champion. On the women's side, the other impacted events are: two WTA 125K Series (Guadalajara and Bol), five WTA International (Bogota, Istanbul, Prague, Morocco and Strasbourg), two WTA Premiers (Charleston and Stuttgart), one WTA Premier 5 (Rome) and one WTA Premier Mandatory tournament (Madrid). WTA 125Ks offer a maximum of 160 points, Internationals 280 points, Premiers 470 points, Premier 5s 900 points and Premier Mandatorys 1,000 points.
On the men's, the suspension cancels seven ATP 250s (Houston, Marrakech, Budapest, Munich, Estoril, Geneva and Lyon), one ATP 500 (Barcelona) and three ATP Masters 1000 tournaments (Monte Carlo, Madrid and Rome). The level of each tournament is the maximum ranking points offered. There's also countless ITF events of all levels all over the globe, now all suspended until June 8.
Without the rankings freeze, a slew of points would disappear each week, with players helpless to do anything. But the ranking system relies on a 52-week cycle, so freezing it disrupts the flow.
Thus, our latest Tough Call: