A player relief fund of more than $6million has been created to support those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

World number one Novak Djokovic said last month he had spoken to Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal about a relief fund that would see money distributed to lower-ranked players.

The ATP and WTA Tour seasons are suspended until at least July 13 due to COVID-19.

While Australian Open runner-up Dominic Thiem was opposed to the idea, the governing bodies of tennis came together to raise more than $6m, it was announced on Tuesday.

"The initiative has seen the ATP, WTA, the four grand slam tournaments – the Australian Open, Roland-Garros, The Championships, Wimbledon and the US Open – and the ITF, unite in a show of support to players who are facing unprecedented challenges due to the global impact of COVID-19. Professional tennis is currently suspended until July, 13 2020," a statement read.

"In addition to contributions of their own, the ATP and WTA will administer the financial distributions of the player relief programme, which sees respective contributions from the four grand slam tournaments and ITF split equally between men and women.

"The player relief programme will target a total of approximately 800 ATP/WTA singles and doubles players collectively, in need of financial support. Eligibility for the player relief programme will take into account a player's ranking as well as previous prize money earnings according to criteria agreed by all stakeholders.

"The move by the seven stakeholders provides the financial backbone of the programme, with opportunities for additional contributions to follow. Funds raised through initiatives such as auctions, player donations, virtual tennis games and more, will provide opportunity for further support of the programme moving forward and are welcomed.

"The creation of the player relief programme is a positive demonstration of the sport's ability to come together during this time of crisis. We will continue to collaborate and monitor the support required across tennis with the aim of ensuring the long-term health of the sport in the midst of this unprecedented challenge to our way of life, and our thoughts remain with all those affected at this time."

There have been more than 3.7 million cases of coronavirus worldwide, with the death toll exceeding 257,000.

Rafael Nadal is sceptical about the prospect of the ATP Tour returning in 2020 and is already thinking ahead to next year's Australian Open.

Both the ATP and WTA Tours are suspended until at least mid-July as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which has wreaked havoc with the global sports calendar.

Wimbledon has already been cancelled for 2020, while the French Open was put back to September but the major at Roland Garros and the US Open remain in doubt.

Nadal still wishes to return to competitive action before the end of the year but says a more realistic approach is to plan towards 2021 and the Australian Open.

"I hope we can return before the end of the year but, unfortunately, I don't think so," Nadal told El Pais.

"I would sign up to being ready for 2021.

"I'm more worried about the Australian Open than what occurs at the end of this year. 

"I think 2020 is practically lost. I hope we can start up again next year, I really hope that's the case."

Nick Kyrgios looked to be out to make amends with rival Rafael Nadal as he offered the Spanish great a video call.

Kyrgios' unique style of play has repeatedly provoked spiky responses from Nadal throughout his career.

And with neither man in action amid the coronavirus pandemic, Kyrgios is keen to entertain fans by sharing an Instagram Live with Nadal.

Kyrgios responded to a BBC Sport post that suggested a series of potentially spicy calls - including a possible conversation between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

"Rafa, let's do Instagram Live together," he commented. "I'm down with it."

Nadal was asked about the Australian in Melbourne at the opening grand slam of 2020.

"I don't know [if I like him]. I don't know him personally, honestly, to have a clear opinion," Nadal said.

"It's clear, of course, that when he does stuff that in my opinion is not good, I don't like."

The 19-time major champion more complimentary of Kyrgios later in the Australian Open after battling past his opponent, but their rivalry endures.

Andy Murray believes there is strong support among leading players on the ATP Tour for a merger with the WTA.

Roger Federer tweeted his backing for a unified tennis tour last month, amid the coronavirus-enforced halt to major sporting action.

Rafael Nadal immediately backed the Swiss star and Murray, another supporter of the idea, is encouraged by the discussion, though he insists female players must also be heard.

"When you have a lot of the top male players now starting to discuss and talk about it, that's definitely very promising," the two-time Wimbledon winner said to CNN.

"When these discussions happen it's quite important not just to see this merger through a man's eyes and to bring more women into the decision-making positions so that everyone's voice gets heard."

Murray, who was previously coached by Amelie Mauresmo, has long been an advocate for the women's game, but explained challenges remain in changing the views of some.

"I spoke to some of the male players... who were unhappy because the prize money was equal," he said.

"I said, 'Well would you rather there was no increase at all?' And they said to me, 'Yeah, actually.'

"That's some of the mentalities that you're working with in these discussions."

Boris Becker does not believe the US Open should go ahead as scheduled due to the coronavirus crisis.

Over 23,000 people have died in the state of New York after contracting COVID-19, but US Open organisers are still planning for the grand slam to start at the end of August.

Wimbledon was cancelled as a result of the pandemic, while the French Open has been put back until September - although there remain doubts over whether the Paris major will go ahead. 

Six-time major champion Becker thinks it would be unwise for what is usually the final grand slam of the year at Flushing Meadows to be held in four months' time.

He told Laureus.com: "New York was pretty much the worst city hit by the virus a couple of weeks ago. I don't think it would be wise to have a tournament there."

Becker has also thrown his weight behind calls for a merger between governing bodies the ATP and WTA.

He added: "I think we are having a moment in crisis in tennis. Apart from, let's say, from the top 10, the top 50 and maybe the top 75 men and women, the rest of the professional players need their weekly pay check, they need their prize money.

"The fact is they can't play, they can't even go to a club and give lessons because of social distancing.

"We have to ask ourselves whether tennis is good enough to give jobs for a thousand people. Until the crisis started, the quick answer was yes, but I'm sure a lot of smaller tournaments that couldn't take place are struggling to come back financially, they've lost a lot of money by not hosting. So it's also a question of time.

"Roger Federer started the ball rolling with his splendid idea of joining forces and I think Nadal agrees. Not every top guy agrees, that's fine, but I think Federer, [Rafael] Nadal and [Novak] Djokovic have a strong following. For Federer to suggest that, speaks for his intelligence and also that he truly cares about the game.

"Just think of the equal prize money we have in the majors. You know men and women earn the same which I don't think is happening in every sport. We are always progressive about going with the times, with equal rights, certainly on the tennis court.

"So a joint organisation would be the next step. It's a big step. He suggested maybe having joint tournaments. We already have a few. In the US in Miami, you have men and women participating around the same time.

"The other ones, talking about the Masters series, are not there yet, but obviously would, in my opinion, be a step in the right direction. Once we get out of the tunnel, the new normal will be different. We still lie in a position to control the future if we get together and work together."

Andy Murray has pledged the winnings from his Madrid Open Virtual Pro triumph to the NHS and the tennis player relief fund.

The Briton, a two-time winner of the real Madrid Open, beat David Goffin in the final of a computer game version of the tournament on Thursday.

Murray prevailed 7-6 (7-5), having received a semi-final bye after opponent Diego Schwartzman suffered a "connection issue".

He received $45,000 (£35,700) in prize money and posted a celebratory message on Instagram to confirm he would give it to charitable causes.

Posing with a large bottle of Moet champagne, the former world number one wrote: "Going to get 'virtually' legless celebrating my win online @mutuamadridopen.
 
"Hope anyone who watched got some sort of enjoyment out of it in these tough times.
 
"I'll be donating half of the 45 thousand dollars prize money to the NHS and the other half to the tennis player relief fund."

The NHS is on the front line of the battle against coronavirus in the United Kingdom, while the tennis player relief fund has been set up to help ease the financial worries of players lower down the rankings, with the sport on hold.

The latter is not a cause that has been met with universal approval, with world number three Dominic Thiem voicing his opposition by saying he "would prefer to donate to people or institutions that really need it".

World number one Novak Djokovic hopes the ATP Tour resumes soon, having struggled mentally during the coronavirus pandemic.

The ATP Tour has been suspended until at least July 13 due to the COVID-19 crisis, which has killed more than 228,000 people globally.

Wimbledon will not go ahead for the first time since World War II, while Djokovic has not taken to the court since winning a fifth Dubai Tennis Championships title in February.

"Officially it is July 13, but they have already cancelled the WTA tournament in Canada [Rogers Cup], but not the male one," the 17-time grand slam champion told Sky Sport Italia.

"We have to see how the situation is in the United States, because that's where we'll be going in August. If it becomes less risky, we can start again.

"There is also the option of cancelling all tournaments in America and starting with clay in the autumn, maybe go to Rome in two or three months. I hope we can start playing again."

Djokovic, who won a record-extending eighth Australian Open crown in February – added: "For us tennis players it is important to have clarity in the schedule. Officially it is July 13, many say it is unlikely we will start again on that date.

"It is important for me to have a routine, I cannot wait for a date. I train every day in the gym, I run at home, I play with the children and this is also a struggle.

"At first I was a little empty mentally and in confusion, I lacked clarity. I spoke with my team, I tried to train daily, even if I didn't follow my preparation to the letter."

World number one Novak Djokovic has revealed he considered quitting tennis 10 years ago.

Djokovic won his first grand slam at the Australian Open in 2008, having lost to Roger Federer in his maiden major final appearance at the US Open the previous year.

By the time the Serbian arrived at the French Open in 2010 he had 17 ATP Tour titles to his name.

But he had lost four of his five major meetings with Federer and been beaten in his four grand slam contests against Rafael Nadal – the two players who were ahead of him in the rankings.

It was Jurgen Melzer who sent him packing from Roland Garros that year, though, as the Austrian 22nd seed battled back from two sets down to claim a shock victory.

It was a defeat that left Djokovic questioning his future in the sport.

"In 2010 I lost to Melzer in the quarter-finals of Roland Garros. I cried after being knocked out. It was a bad moment, I wanted to quit tennis because all I saw was black," Djokovic told Sky Sport Italia.

"It was a transformation, because after that defeat I freed myself.

"I had won in Australia in 2008, I was number three in the world, but I wasn't happy. I knew I could do more, but I lost the most important matches against Federer and Nadal.

"From that moment I took the pressure off myself, I started playing more aggressively. That was the turning point."

Djokovic has gone on to win 17 major titles and become the first player to taste success at all nine ATP Masters 1000 events.

One of his greatest achievements came at Wimbledon in 2019, when he defeated eight-time champion Federer in an epic that concluded with a tie-break after the pair were locked at 12-12 in the fifth set.

"It was one of the two most beautiful matches I've played, along with the final against Rafa in Australia in 2012. They are unique matches, everything happened," said Djokovic.

"From a technical point of view, Roger's game quality was excellent from the first to the last point – the numbers show that.

"I played the decisive points well, I didn't miss a ball in the three tie-breaks and maybe that was the first time in my career.

"These matches happen once or twice in a career and I am grateful to have been able to fight against a great like Roger in a prestigious arena like Centre Court at Wimbledon."

Andre Agassi reached plenty of milestones in his illustrious tennis career and the eight-time grand slam champion had another to celebrate on Wednesday.

The legendary American has turned 50, which is hard to believe as it does not seem long since he was gracing the courts as one of the great crowd pleasers.

Agassi won 60 ATP Tour titles during a 21-year professional career, making a whopping $31,152,975 in prize money.

The flamboyant former world number won all four majors before retiring at the 2006 US Open.

We reflect on the former world number one's grand slam triumphs and wish him many happy returns.

 

Wimbledon, 1992

It was the unlikely setting of Centre Court where the Las Vegas native's major breakthrough came.

Agassi's early successes were on hard and clay courts, but he came from behind to beat Goran Ivanisevic in five sets to be crowned Wimbledon champion at the age of 22.

US Open, 1994

Agassi's first grand slam title on home soil came at the expense of Michael Stich.

Still sporting long flowing locks that he later revealed to be a wig, Agassi became the first unseeded champion since Fred Stolle back in 1966 with a straight-sets victory over the German.

Australian Open, 1995

He started the 1995 season on a high note, moving just one title away from completing a career Grand Slam at Melbourne Park.

Minus his hairpiece, Agassi added another piece to the jigsaw by seeing off old foe Pete Sampras 4–6 6–1 7–6 (8–6) 6–4 to win the Australian Open.

French Open, 1999

Injury and personal issues led to a fall from grace for the sporting icon, who plummeted to 141st in the rankings.

You cannot keep a good man down, though, and he became only the fifth of eight men to complete a clean sweep of majors by coming from two sets down to beat Andriy Medvedev in the final at Roland Garros 21 years ago.

US Open, 1999

A second US Open title followed in the final major of 1999, a golden year for Agassi in which he started dating Steffi Graf - whom he married two years later.

Compatriot Todd Martin was the latest player to suffer at the hands of Agassi, who was taken the distance again before sealing a 6–4, 6–7 (5–7) 6–7 (2–7) 6–3 6–2 win.

Australian Open, 2000

Agassi got his hands on the Australian Open trophy for a second time five years after his first triumph in the opening major of the season.

The top seed dethroned defending champion Yevgeny Kafelnikov in four sets in the championship match. Agassi would have held all four grand slam titles at the same time if he had not lost to Sampras in the 1999 Wimbledon final.

Australian Open, 2001

He was also the master in Melbourne 12 months later, proving to be a cut above Arnaud Clement.

Frenchman Clement was unable to live with a relentless Agassi, who was in seventh heaven after easing to a 6-4 6-2 6-2 victory.

Australian Open, 2003

Agassi withdrew from the 2002 Australian Open due to a wrist injury, but he was back to regain the title a year later.

He lost just five games in a one-sided final versus Rainer Schuttler, winning what proved to be his final grand slam title at the age of 32. 

World number three Dominic Thiem is standing by his opposition towards a relief fund for tennis professionals affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Novak Djokovic, the world number one and president of the ATP player council, has championed a plan to assist players outside the top 250 on the men's tour who are unable to earn income while tournaments cannot go ahead.

The proposal, backed by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, would see leading players encouraged to pay more into the fund than those who are ranked far lower and provide multi-million-dollar relief to those whose income has all but disappeared with the suspensions of the ATP and WTA Tours.

Thiem, a three-time grand slam singles finalist, expressed concern to Kronen Zeitung over donating money to certain players who "don't give everything to sport" and said he would prefer to give support to "people or institutions that really need it".

The 26-year-old accepts his comments came across as harsh but insists he would rather know exactly where his money was going rather than contributing to a general fund.

"There are just a few things that bother me about the whole thing," he said to Sky Sport Austria.

"I don't want to back down from my opinion that there are some players I don't want to support. I'd much prefer it to be chosen by the players themselves because then those players who really need it and who really deserve it will benefit.

"What I said came across as a bit strong. I didn't say it so strongly.

"There'll always be people, animals, organisations who need support much more urgently than probably every single athlete."

The ATP Tour is on hold until at least the middle of July, with Wimbledon having been cancelled and the French Open moved back to September.

However, with lockdown measures in Germany having lately been eased, localised tournaments taking place under strict protocols have been mooted as a way to ease players back into action.

Thiem is in favour of these small-scale competitions against fellow Austrian or German players, having realised how long it will take to recapture top physical form when he practiced back on a court this week.

"I couldn't believe what sore muscles I had the day after," he said. "I couldn't believe that a movement you've done practically all your life could cause so much pain the next day or the day after.

"It'd be a small but great step back into competitive tennis. There are really good players in Austria and Germany with whom you could have great matches."

Andy Murray joked Rafael Nadal should not be a "bad loser" after handing him a pasting at the Madrid Open Virtual Pro before urging patience for the real tennis tours to return.

Murray and Nadal had each come through their virtual openers on Monday but it was the Briton who came out on top in their duel, dropping just one point in a 3-0 win.

After their online contest, Murray gave a fist pump to the camera while Nadal gave a quick thumbs up before hastily logging off.

In a post-match interview, Murray said: "If you speak to Rafa, tell him not to be such a bad loser next time!"

On his chances of winning the whole thing, he added: "I think I have a chance, for sure."

Murray later defeated Denis Shapavolov to reach the quarter-finals unbeaten, while Nadal suffered another defeat to Benoit Paire.

Three-time grand slam winner Murray was later quizzed about the challenges facing global sports amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Tennis has been heavily affected with the ATP and WTA Tours postponed until at least mid-July, while Wimbledon was cancelled for 2020 and the French Open rescheduled for September.

Some have predicted that neither tour will recommence this year and Murray says public health and the return of normal day-to-day activities must take precedence over sport's return.

"I'm sure all tennis players want to get back to competing and playing as soon as possible. But right now that is not the most important thing," Murray said.

"First of all, we want to get our normal lives back, just being able to go out, see friends, go to restaurants and have your normal freedoms. 

"And then hopefully over time things will start to allow for travelling and sport will be able to go back to normal as well. But I don't see that happening very soon. 

"The first thing is to try and find a way to stop the virus spreading and once we've done that we'll be able to do more and more normal things rather than thinking about competing in sport. 

"A lot of people want to watch sport again, so obviously the athletes and the players want to be competing. 

"It's entertaining and it's something that lots of people enjoy. When you don't get to see it for a while, people realise how much they love playing and watching it.

"But just because it's difficult not to have sport just now doesn't mean we have to speed things up. 

"Let's just focus on getting our normal lives back first and hopefully then all of the countries can sort out the virus properly. 

"I'm obviously no expert on this but I assume the danger is when you go back to trying to do things too quickly like avoiding social distancing and then if we get back to international travel, then maybe there could be a second wave of infections and that maybe that would slow everything down again. 

"That's not what anyone wants. Let's just try and get things back to normal first and then we can think about playing sport again."

Andy Murray joked Rafael Nadal should not be a "bad loser" after handing him a pasting at the Madrid Open Virtual Pro before urging patience for the real tennis tours to return.

Murray and Nadal had each come through their virtual openers on Monday but it was the Briton who came out on top in their duel, dropping just one point in a 3-0 win.

After their online contest, Murray gave a fist pump to the camera while Nadal gave a quick thumbs up before hastily logging off.

In a post-match interview, Murray said: "If you speak to Rafa, tell him not to be such a bad loser next time!"

On his chances of winning the whole thing, he added: "I think I have a chance, for sure."

Murray later defeated Denis Shapavolov to reach the quarter-finals unbeaten, while Nadal suffered another defeat to Benoit Paire.

Three-time grand slam winner Murray was later quizzed about the challenges facing global sports amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Tennis has been heavily affected with the ATP and WTA Tours postponed until at least mid-July, while Wimbledon was cancelled for 2020 and the French Open rescheduled for September.

Some have predicted that neither tour will recommence this year and Murray says public health and the return of normal day-to-day activities must take precedence over sport's return.

"I'm sure all tennis players want to get back to competing and playing as soon as possible. But right now that is not the most important thing," Murray said.

"First of all, we want to get our normal lives back, just being able to go out, see friends, go to restaurants and have your normal freedoms. 

"And then hopefully over time things will start to allow for travelling and sport will be able to go back to normal as well. But I don't see that happening very soon. 

"The first thing is to try and find a way to stop the virus spreading and once we've done that we'll be able to do more and more normal things rather than thinking about competing in sport. 

"A lot of people want to watch sport again, so obviously the athletes and the players want to be competing. 

"It's entertaining and it's something that lots of people enjoy. When you don't get to see it for a while, people realise how much they love playing and watching it.

"But just because it's difficult not to have sport just now doesn't mean we have to speed things up. 

"Let's just focus on getting our normal lives back first and hopefully then all of the countries can sort out the virus properly. 

"I'm obviously no expert on this but I assume the danger is when you go back to trying to do things too quickly like avoiding social distancing and then if we get back to international travel, then maybe there could be a second wave of infections and that maybe that would slow everything down again. 

"That's not what anyone wants. Let's just try and get things back to normal first and then we can think about playing sport again."

Andy Murray joked Rafael Nadal should not be a "bad loser" after handing him a pasting at the Madrid Open Virtual Pro before urging patience for the real tennis tours to return.

Murray and Nadal had each come through their virtual openers on Monday but it was the Briton who came out on top in their duel, dropping just one point in a 3-0 win.

After their online contest, Murray gave a fist pump to the camera while Nadal gave a quick thumbs up before hastily logging off.

In a post-match interview, Murray said: "If you speak to Rafa, tell him not to be such a bad loser next time!"

On his chances of winning the whole thing, he added: "I think I have a chance, for sure."

Murray later defeated Denis Shapavolov to reach the quarter-finals unbeaten, while Nadal suffered another defeat to Benoit Paire.

Three-time grand slam winner Murray was later quizzed about the challenges facing global sports amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Tennis has been heavily affected with the ATP and WTA Tours postponed until at least mid-July, while Wimbledon was cancelled for 2020 and the French Open rescheduled for September.

Some have predicted that neither tour will recommence this year and Murray says public health and the return of normal day-to-day activities must take precedence over sport's return.

"I'm sure all tennis players want to get back to competing and playing as soon as possible. But right now that is not the most important thing," Murray said.

"First of all, we want to get our normal lives back, just being able to go out, see friends, go to restaurants and have your normal freedoms. 

"And then hopefully over time things will start to allow for travelling and sport will be able to go back to normal as well. But I don't see that happening very soon. 

"The first thing is to try and find a way to stop the virus spreading and once we've done that we'll be able to do more and more normal things rather than thinking about competing in sport. 

"A lot of people want to watch sport again, so obviously the athletes and the players want to be competing. 

"It's entertaining and it's something that lots of people enjoy. When you don't get to see it for a while, people realise how much they love playing and watching it.

"But just because it's difficult not to have sport just now doesn't mean we have to speed things up. 

"Let's just focus on getting our normal lives back first and hopefully then all of the countries can sort out the virus properly. 

"I'm obviously no expert on this but I assume the danger is when you go back to trying to do things too quickly like avoiding social distancing and then if we get back to international travel, then maybe there could be a second wave of infections and that maybe that would slow everything down again. 

"That's not what anyone wants. Let's just try and get things back to normal first and then we can think about playing sport again."

Andy Murray joked Rafael Nadal should not be a "bad loser" after handing him a pasting at the Madrid Open Virtual Pro before urging patience for the real tennis tours to return.

Murray and Nadal had each come through their virtual openers on Monday but it was the Briton who came out on top in their duel, dropping just one point in a 3-0 win.

After their online contest, Murray gave a fist pump to the camera while Nadal gave a quick thumbs up before hastily logging off.

In a post-match interview, Murray said: "If you speak to Rafa, tell him not to be such a bad loser next time!"

On his chances of winning the whole thing, he added: "I think I have a chance, for sure."

Murray later defeated Denis Shapavolov to reach the quarter-finals unbeaten, while Nadal suffered another defeat to Benoit Paire.

Three-time grand slam winner Murray was later quizzed about the challenges facing global sports amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Tennis has been heavily affected with the ATP and WTA Tours postponed until at least mid-July, while Wimbledon was cancelled for 2020 and the French Open rescheduled for September.

Some have predicted that neither tour will recommence this year and Murray says public health and the return of normal day-to-day activities must take precedence over sport's return.

"I'm sure all tennis players want to get back to competing and playing as soon as possible. But right now that is not the most important thing," Murray said.

"First of all, we want to get our normal lives back, just being able to go out, see friends, go to restaurants and have your normal freedoms. 

"And then hopefully over time things will start to allow for travelling and sport will be able to go back to normal as well. But I don't see that happening very soon. 

"The first thing is to try and find a way to stop the virus spreading and once we've done that we'll be able to do more and more normal things rather than thinking about competing in sport. 

"A lot of people want to watch sport again, so obviously the athletes and the players want to be competing. 

"It's entertaining and it's something that lots of people enjoy. When you don't get to see it for a while, people realise how much they love playing and watching it.

"But just because it's difficult not to have sport just now doesn't mean we have to speed things up. 

"Let's just focus on getting our normal lives back first and hopefully then all of the countries can sort out the virus properly. 

"I'm obviously no expert on this but I assume the danger is when you go back to trying to do things too quickly like avoiding social distancing and then if we get back to international travel, then maybe there could be a second wave of infections and that maybe that would slow everything down again. 

"That's not what anyone wants. Let's just try and get things back to normal first and then we can think about playing sport again."

Andy Murray joked Rafael Nadal should not be a "bad loser" after handing him a pasting at the Madrid Open Virtual Pro before urging patience for the real tennis tours to return.

Murray and Nadal had each come through their virtual openers on Monday but it was the Briton who came out on top in their duel, dropping just one point in a 3-0 win.

After their online contest, Murray gave a fist pump to the camera while Nadal gave a quick thumbs up before hastily logging off.

In a post-match interview, Murray said: "If you speak to Rafa, tell him not to be such a bad loser next time!"

On his chances of winning the whole thing, he added: "I think I have a chance, for sure."

Murray later defeated Denis Shapavolov to reach the quarter-finals unbeaten, while Nadal suffered another defeat to Benoit Paire.

Three-time grand slam winner Murray was later quizzed about the challenges facing global sports amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Tennis has been heavily affected with the ATP and WTA Tours postponed until at least mid-July, while Wimbledon was cancelled for 2020 and the French Open rescheduled for September.

Some have predicted that neither tour will recommence this year and Murray says public health and the return of normal day-to-day activities must take precedence over sport's return.

"I'm sure all tennis players want to get back to competing and playing as soon as possible. But right now that is not the most important thing," Murray said.

"First of all, we want to get our normal lives back, just being able to go out, see friends, go to restaurants and have your normal freedoms. 

"And then hopefully over time things will start to allow for travelling and sport will be able to go back to normal as well. But I don't see that happening very soon. 

"The first thing is to try and find a way to stop the virus spreading and once we've done that we'll be able to do more and more normal things rather than thinking about competing in sport. 

"A lot of people want to watch sport again, so obviously the athletes and the players want to be competing. 

"It's entertaining and it's something that lots of people enjoy. When you don't get to see it for a while, people realise how much they love playing and watching it.

"But just because it's difficult not to have sport just now doesn't mean we have to speed things up. 

"Let's just focus on getting our normal lives back first and hopefully then all of the countries can sort out the virus properly. 

"I'm obviously no expert on this but I assume the danger is when you go back to trying to do things too quickly like avoiding social distancing and then if we get back to international travel, then maybe there could be a second wave of infections and that maybe that would slow everything down again. 

"That's not what anyone wants. Let's just try and get things back to normal first and then we can think about playing sport again."

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