Novak Djokovic said it is time for people to "help our Mother Earth" during the coronavirus pandemic as "we can't be healthy if our world isn't healthy".

COVID-19 has claimed more than 13,000 lives and the figure continues to escalate as the virus sweeps across the globe.

Countries are in lockdown and world number one Djokovic has stressed that is it vital to stay at home and unite with the world in crisis.

He posted on Twitter: "I am all about being productive and proactive but in harmony with peace and innerstanding (sic) of our true essence. We can't be healthy if our world isn't healthy.

"This is the time for all of us to get together and unite. Let's really try to spend quality time with family at home, enjoy the little things in life.

"Let's try to laugh, love and dedicate time to inner work. Pray, meditate, eat healthy, sing, dance, read, write, workout, sleep well, train our brains to think good thoughts... This is a great opportunity to do that.

"By being at home we will not only hopefully help to slow the spread of this virus, but we will also give ourselves a chance to truly address certain emotions and subconscious programs that have been suppressed and ignored.

"We need to dig deep now and regenerate on every level of our beings. Only like that will we be able to raise our own vibration and help our Mother Earth heal quickly. We are all ONE. We all live in the same world.

"Please treat people and nature like you would treat yourself. God bless you all. We will be stronger and more united, I am sure."

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."

French Open organisers were facing a backlash on Tuesday after revealing new dates for the clay-court grand slam.

ATP tour council member Vasek Pospisil, a Canadian who was a Wimbledon doubles champion in 2014, said there had been "no communication" with the men's tour and labelled the decision "madness".

The ATP and WTA tours are at a standstill, with tournaments cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, and it appears entirely unrealistic that Paris, currently a city in lockdown, will be ready to stage a grand slam by late May.

The Roland Garros tournament's new dates of September 20 to October 4 mean it will begin seven days after the US Open men's final, and clashes with Davis Cup and Laver Cup matches mean the calendar will need a major overhaul.

Pospisil's accusation that French Open organisers have gone it alone by declaring its switch to a September start may suggest the newly revealed dates could face serious opposition.

The 29-year-old wrote on Twitter: "This is madness. Major announcement by Roland Garros changing the dates to one week after the US Open. No communication with the players or the ATP.. we have ZERO say in this sport. It’s time. #UniteThePlayers"

From the women's tour, American Madison Keys posted a response to the French Open announcement featuring a cartoon on Twitter of a house burning down, adding the caption: "Everything is fine."

Croatian Donna Vekic also reacted to the tournament announcement, writing: "Excusez moi?"

Regardless of the exceptional circumstances, any move by the French Open that lacked the co-operation of either the men's ATP Tour or the women's WTA Tour - if that is the case here - will test the good faith of both in the French slam organisers. It also creates a logistical nightmare.

As well as Davis Cup matches in the two days prior to the French Open, the men's tour has tournaments organised for the two-week duration of the tournament in St Petersburg, Metz, Chengdu, Zhuhai and Sofia. The Laver Cup is also due to take place from September 25-27.

On the women's tour, the Zhengzhou Open is due to finish on the first day of the rescheduled Roland Garros, followed over the duration of the tournament by events in Guangzhou, Seoul, Tokyo, Wuhan and Tashkent. Its China Open is also due to begin on October 3, the projected day of the women's final in Paris.

The 10-man ATP council on which Pospisil sits is led by world number one Novak Djokovic, with Roger Federer and 12-time French Open winner Rafael Nadal also members.

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.

The world's leading sporting competitions have been halted amid the coronavirus pandemic.

With almost 160,000 confirmed cases of the virus and close to 6,000 deaths, athletes across the globe are waiting to learn when they will return to work.

We take a look at the provisional return dates set out so far.
 

BASKETBALL

The NBA came to a sudden stop when a Utah Jazz player - later revealed to be Rudy Gobert - tested positive on Wednesday, and league commissioner Adam Silver warned the hiatus would "be most likely at least 30 days".

CRICKET

International cricket has been pushed back, but there are no firm dates as things stand for rescheduled matches. England's two-match Test tour of Sri Lanka was called off midway through a warm-up match, while the ODI series between India and South Africa was postponed after the first of three matches was washed out. Australia won an opening ODI against New Zealand behind closed doors, but the remaining two 50-over matches were delayed, along with a three-match Twenty20 series. There is at least a provisional date for the Indian Premier League to belatedly start: April 15, pushed back from March 29.

FOOTBALL

European football is at a standstill, with the Champions League among the elite-level competitions suspended. UEFA is set to meet to discuss the future of that tournament and Euro 2020 this week, while FIFA has advised postponements of upcoming international fixtures, for which clubs are no longer required to release their players. The Premier League, LaLiga and Serie A are all paused at least until April 3 although the Bundesliga has only called off one matchweek as things stand, while Ligue 1 is off "until further notice".

GOLF

The PGA Tour initially announced a three-week suspension, with The Players Championship stopped after its opening round. The Masters - won in 2019 by Tiger Woods - was therefore set to mark the Tour's return on April 9, but organisers soon announced the first major of the year would also be postponed. The RBC Heritage on April 16 is the next scheduled tournament. Organisers are planning "regular status updates in the coming weeks" amid "a very fluid situation that requires constant review, communication, and transparency".

MOTORSPORT

The Formula One season is still to start after races in Australia, Bahrain, Vietnam and China were postponed or cancelled. The Dutch Grand Prix on May 3 remains on at this stage, however, while managing director of motorsports Ross Brawn has suggested the calendar could be reshuffled, with races held in August. NASCAR has postponed events in Atlanta and Miami this and next weekend, and all IndyCar Series races through April have been cancelled.

RUGBY

Rugby league has largely been able to continue both in England and in Australia, but the same is not true of rugby union. Six Nations matches were among the first to fall by the wayside amid the crisis in Italy, with the Azzurri seeing matches against both Ireland and England postponed until later in the year. France versus Ireland was off, too, while Scotland's trip to Wales belatedly followed suit. Club action has ground to a halt, with Super Rugby finally paused this weekend and no return imminent.

TENNIS

After Indian Wells and then the Miami Open were cancelled, the ATP Tour announced its suspension up to and including the week of April 20. The WTA Tour preferred to call off individual events, but the schedule is now clear for five weeks. It was still to make a decision on the European clay-court season. The Fed Cup finals and play-offs - set for mid-April - have been pushed back, meanwhile, with the ITF vowing to address any impact the postponement may have on players' eligibility for Tokyo 2020.

OTHERS

Despite chaos surrounding various sports across the globe, Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe says the country is still planning for the Olympic Games in Tokyo to go ahead as scheduled in July. The London Marathon and the Boston Marathon will both still go ahead this year, but with revised dates of October 4 and September 14, respectively. The Giro d'Italia will be postponed and a new date for the race will not be announced until at least April 3 when a decree in Italy banning sport ends. The NBA is not the only American competition to be disrupted, meanwhile, with the 2020 MLB season moved back "at least two weeks" from March 26, and the NHL campaign paused indefinitely.

The coronavirus pandemic continued to lead to widescale disruption in the world of sport on Thursday.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has resulted in the ATP Tour being suspended for six weeks, while the PGA Tour will be played behind closed doors until April 5.

Football in Spain, the Netherlands, the United States and Portugal has been put on hiatus, while Champions League games between Manchester City and Real Madrid, and Juventus and Lyon have been postponed.

A second Serie A player has been confirmed to have contracted coronavirus, while the Utah Jazz announced a second positive test for COVID-19. Donovan Mitchell confirmed he was the latest individual with the infection, while Rudy Gobert is reported to be the other.

We look at the biggest events to have been impacted by the proliferation of the virus.

 

A six-week suspension was implemented by the ATP Tour, which it said came in the wake of the World Health Organization declaring the spread of COVID-19 constituted a pandemic and 30-day travel restrictions imposed by the United States.

ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said: "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."

The WTA Tour was yet to follow suit, but the Miami Open has been scratched from its schedule after a state of emergency was declared in Miami-Dade County.

Following the news that LaLiga had suspended its next two matchdays and Real Madrid had established a self-imposed quarantine in the wake of one of their basketball players testing positive for COVID-19, Los Blancos' Champions League last-16 second leg against Manchester City on Tuesday was postponed.

The meeting between Juventus and Lyon has also been pushed back after Daniele Rugani was confirmed to have contracted coronavirus and the Serie A champions implemented isolation procedures.

UEFA will hold a videoconference with European football stakeholders on Tuesday to discuss the response to the outbreak. The talks will include all domestic and European competitions, including Euro 2020.

Bosnia-Herzegovina has requested its Euro 2020 play-off against Northern Ireland on March 26 be postponed, while Denmark expects its friendly against England five days later to be cancelled.

One game that has been cancelled is Wales' friendly against the United States on March 30.

Sampdoria announced Manolo Gabbiadini was the second professional Serie A player to test positive. The club said he had "a slight fever, but is otherwise fine". On Sunday Gabbiadini played 61 minutes against Hellas Verona, who also activated isolation procedures as a result.

Hannover confirmed a second case of coronavirus in their squad, with Jannes Horn following Timo Hubers in testing positive. All players from the German team will be under home quarantine for the next 14 days, with the club asking for their upcoming 2.Bundesliga games against Dynamo Dresden and Osnabruck to be called off.

Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers revealed three of his players have shown symptoms of coronavirus and have been isolated from their team-mates. Stats Perform understands all players put into isolation have only displayed mild symptoms, meaning they have not met the threshold to be tested for the virus.

In the Netherlands, all football has been cancelled until March 31. This includes amateur and professional games, as well as the national team's fixtures against the USA and Spain.

Portugal's Primeira Liga and the CONCACAF Champions League have been postponed for an indefinite period, while MLS has been suspended for the next 30 days.

Elsewhere in the USA, the NHL season has been paused. Comissioner Gary Bettman said: "Following last night's news that an NBA player has tested positive for coronavirus - and given that our leagues share so many facilities and locker rooms and it now seems likely that some member of the NHL community would test positive at some point - it is no longer appropriate to try to continue to play games at this time."

The PGA Tour will continue as scheduled, though fans will be barred from attending events starting from Friday at the Players Championship until the Texas Open, which finishes on April 5.

However, the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship has been cancelled due to potential logistical issues associated with players and staff travelling internationally.

The Washington Wizards have imposed self-isolation on players, coaches and basketball operations personnel for three to four days. The Wizards played the Jazz – who have confirmed two cases of coronavirus among their roster – on February 29 and the New York Knicks on March 10. The Knicks had a game with Utah six days before the Wizards did.

The Jazz's second positive test came after their game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday was called off. Mitchell said on Instagram: "Thanks to everyone who has been reaching out since hearing the news about my positive test. We are all learning more about the seriousness of this situation and hopefully people can continue to educate themselves and realise that they need to behave responsibly both for their own health and for the well being of those around them."

After the NCAA announced no fans would be permitted at March Madness, the American, Atlantic 10, C-USA, MAC, America East, Big East, Big Sky and WAC announced their conference tournaments had been cancelled.

The Washington Redskins became the first NFL team to announce a change in protocol in relation to the coronavirus. Redskins owner Dan Snyder said: "Due to health and travel concerns surrounding COVID-19, Redskins have informed all coaches and scouts to suspend all travel until further notice."

Promoters Top Rank have confirmed their upcoming boxing shows at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden will go ahead behind closed doors.

Shakur Stevenson is scheduled to defend his WBO featherweight world title against Miguel Marriaga in the main event on Friday's card in New York, while Michael Conlan headlines next Tuesday when he takes on Belmar Preciado in a 10-round contest.

The remaining two ODIs between India and South Africa will also be played behind closed doors, the International Cricket Council announced. There will also be no fans at Pakistan Super League games in Karachi.

In rugby union, the Pro14 has been indefinitely suspended. A statement said: "Resumption of the 2019-20 season will now become a matter of constant review. To this point Pro14 Rugby has ensured that it has the latest information and guidance made available by the local and national authorities via our participating unions in the UK, Ireland, Italy and South Africa."

However, the quarter-finals in the European Champions Cup and European Challenge Cup remain set to go ahead as planned.

The next two NASCAR events at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway over the next two weekends will be undertaken behind closed doors.

The ATP Tour has been suspended for six weeks because of coronavirus health and safety concerns.

The decision means ATP Tour and Challenger events have been called off up to and including the week of April 20, with major tournaments including the Miami Open and Monte Carlo Masters affected.

In a statement, the tour said: "The ATP has announced a six-week suspension of the men’s professional tennis tour due to escalating health and safety issues arising from the global outbreak of COVID-19."

Other tournaments that will not take place as scheduled include the US Men’s Clay Court Championship in Houston, the Grand Prix Hassan II in Marrakech, the Barcelona Open and Budapest’s Hungarian Open.

This week’s Challenger tournaments in Nur Saltan, Kazakhstan, and Potchefstroom, South Africa, are to be abandoned.

COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday, with 124,518 cases and 4,607 deaths confirmed.

The ATP said its decision followed the WHO announcement and the United States' 30-day travel restrictions affecting foreign nationals from 26 European countries.

"The ATP has been closely monitoring the rapidly evolving situation related to COVID-19, taking advice from medical experts and travel advisors and consulting with all local regulatory authorities, and will continuously review the feasibility of subsequent events in the calendar," the tour’s statement added.

This week should have seen the BNP Paribas Masters at Indian Wells dominating the tennis agenda, but that two-week tournament, featuring ATP and WTA events, was postponed on Sunday.

ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said of the six-week tour suspension: "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 added: "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."

The ATP Tour has been suspended for six weeks because of coronavirus health and safety concerns.

Kirsten Flipkens was left aghast after claiming to have learned via social media that the Indian Wells Open was cancelled.

Organisers confirmed on Sunday that the WTA event and the ATP Indian Wells Masters, which were both scheduled to start on Monday, had been called off due to concerns over the coronavirus.

The Riverside County Public Health Department declared a public health emergency on Sunday after a confirmed case in Coachella Valley.

World number 77 Flipkens reacted with angry surprise to a tweet from the official tournament account that confirmed it had been called off, saying: "And the players had to find out... through Twitter...".

When American player Nicole Gibbs replied to tell Flipkens "There was an email", the Belgian responded: "I saw it on Twitter first."

She also sent a message to the WTA and urged fellow professionals to share it, saying: "@WTA isn't the least you can do is [sic] organising an emergency meeting with the players????"

Rising American star Coco Gauff said she was "so sad" that the event had been cancelled. The 15-year-old had been due to make her debut at the event this week.

"Safety is always the no.1 priority," she tweeted.

Meanwhile, Jamie Murray expressed concern over the rest of the 2020 calendar given the Indian Wells tournaments were called off due to just one confirmed coronavirus case.

"Doesn't bode well for the tour if IW cancelled for 1 confirmed case in Coachella Valley," he wrote on Twitter. "Broward county (Miami Open home) has more confirmed cases. Monte Carlo borders northern Italy currently in lockdown. Rome Masters? French Open? Wimbledon?!!!"

In a statement following the Indian Wells cancellations, WTA chairman and CEO Steve Simon said: "It is too soon to speculate about what will happen to other tournaments that follow.

"We will continue to closely monitor the situation. Health and safety will always come first."

The Indian Wells Masters and Indian Wells Open will not go ahead as scheduled due to fears over the coronavirus.

The WTA and ATP Tour events were due to start on Wednesday and Thursday respectively, but organisers announced they would not go ahead amid concerns for the safety of players and fans.

The Riverside County Public Health Department declared a public health emergency on Sunday after a confirmed case of coronavirus.

Tournament director Tommy Haas said he was open to holding the event at a different time in 2020.

"We are very disappointed that the tournament will not take place, but the health and safety of the local community, fans, players, volunteers, sponsors, employees, vendors, and everyone involved with the event is of paramount importance," he said in a statement.

"We are prepared to hold the tournament on another date and will explore options."

Professor of medicine and biomedical engineering at the University of Southern California, Dr David Agus said: "There is too great a risk, at this time, to the public health of the Riverside County area in holding a large gathering of this size.

"It is not in the public interest of fans, players and neighbouring areas for this tournament to proceed. We all have to join together to protect the community from the coronavirus outbreak."

The coronavirus has killed more than 3,800 people worldwide, with more than 110,000 confirmed cases.

There have been more than 500 confirmed cases in the United States, with 21 deaths.

Interaction between players, spectators and ball kids in professional tennis is about to change drastically as the sport contends with the coronavirus outbreak.

New guidelines from the ATP and WTA, which operate the men's and women's tours, contain a series of "precautionary health measures" that will be rolled out in the coming week.

They will see major reductions in player contact with mascots, ball boys and ball girls, and fans, and will apply to all WTA and ATP events in the coming months.

Players will not be able to hand towels to ball kids in matches, as has been commonplace, and the same ball kids will wear gloves.

Stars of the game who are used to taking balls and pens from fans to sign post-match autographs have been advised to refrain from doing so, and they have also been urged not to throw used towels and sweatbands into the crowd.

Changes will come into play at the Indian Wells Masters in California, a high-profile ATP and WTA tournament where main-draw matches begin on Wednesday.

The likes of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are due to play the event.

A joint statement from the two tours said: "The health and safety of our players, fans, staff and tournament personnel is paramount and, as the outbreak of COVID-19 continues, these are common-sense precautions for us to take.

"We continue to monitor this closely on a daily basis, working with our players and tournaments, as well as public health authorities as the situation evolves globally."

The measures in full, as published by the two tours, are:

- Players and mascots will not hold hands when walking out on court.

- Ball kids will be provided with gloves to wear on court.

- Ball kids will not handle player towels during matches.

- Ball kids will not handle player drinks during matches.

- Players will be instructed to not distribute used towels, headbands, shirts, sweatbands, etc to fans following matches or practice.

- Players will not accept pens, tennis balls or other items to hold for autograph signing.

Andy Murray is hoping to make his ATP Tour return at the Miami Open - although his longer-term fitness remains uncertain.

The former world number one underwent hip resurfacing surgery in January 2019 and made a triumphant doubles comeback at Queen's Club in June before capturing a singles title in Antwerp four months later.

However, he has not played since a Davis Cup defeat of Tallon Griekspoor in November and news emerged last week that he may have to have another operation due to heterotopic ossification, which is bone growing outside the normal skeleton.

That issue has not gone away but, for now, the three-time grand slam champion is hoping to return at the Masters Series event in Miami, which starts on March 25.

The 32-year-old told Amazon Prime: "In the short, short term, I'm training to try to get ready for Miami.

"I have done so much rehab these last few months that in terms of my strength, and everything, all the muscles around the hip are working well, it's just I hadn't played tennis.

"I've hit twice since the Davis Cup for 40 minutes so I need some time to build up and feel good on the court again.

"That's my plan just now unless I have a setback or something."

Talking on September 26 about the potential for further surgery, he said: "What I need to do is build up in these next couple of weeks to really test it. Hopefully it responds fine, but if it doesn't then I need to potentially have that [growth] removed.

"I can't have it removed until it is finished growing. I should know by the end of next month whether I'm good to play or not with it.

"If they can't get to it with an arthroscope, I would have to be opened up again. That takes longer to recover.

"It's not like a major operation to have it removed but, if they cannot get there with an arthroscope to remove it, that is the issue."

Surgery could see Murray miss Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics.

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