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."

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."

Rafael Nadal is worried about his tennis future due to the extended break caused by 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 211,600 people globally.

Nadal – who reached the Australian Open quarter-finals this year – last took to the court when he won the Mexican Open in February and the 19-time grand slam champion is concerned.

"Personally, there is a worry because when you pause your body in a drastic way it can be difficult to restart it," the 33-year-old said via Marca, as he spoke with Spanish basketball star Pau Gasol.

"I'm positive and I hope to recover and return well, but there's a big risk."

Former Los Angeles Lakers star and two-time NBA champion Gasol, 39, shared similar concerns.

Gasol suffered a season-ending foot injury during the 2018-19 campaign and has not played since, waived by the Portland Trail Blazers in November.

"I have a few years more on my body than him," said Gasol, who is still eyeing the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

"I've not played for a year and two months because of my injury and my plan was to try to be ready for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

"But this has changed and there's a lot of uncertainty. I can just focus on the daily recovery work. This pause will have an effect, whether big or small. It'll be tough."

Andy Murray's in-match commentary was a highlight on day one of the Madrid Open Virtual Pro, while Rafael Nadal made a winning start.

The Madrid Open should have taken place in the Spanish capital in May but the coronavirus pandemic forced the clay-court tournament to be postponed.

But, 16 ATP and 16 WTA Tour players swapped their racquets for PlayStation 4 controllers this week, with tennis suspended until at least mid-July.

The virtual Madrid Open got underway on Monday, with former world number one and three-time grand slam champion Murray providing plenty of entertainment.

Murray won his first match in Group 1, defeating Frenchman Benoit Paire in an eventful clash.

"Where is my player going? Where are you going?!," Murray said during the match.

"Ahh, get there! Get there!... My hands are sweating."

World number two Nadal also won his opener, overcoming Canadian sensation Denis Shapovalov 4-3 [4-3].

Nadal's video-game performance came after Davis Cup team-mate and Madrid Open Virtual Pro tournament director Feliciano Lopez joked that the 19-time major winner asked to postpone his first match.

Lopez later tweeted: "Guys, I was joking, of course... I said Rafa had a back injury from the pressure of playing on the PS4. We might need some sense of humour please!"

Elsewhere, Diego Schwartzman claimed back-to-back wins in Group 2 over David Ferrer and John Isner, while Stefanos Tsitsipas booked his spot in the quarter-finals with victories against Kei Nishikori and Fabio Fognini.

In the women's competition, Caroline Wozniacki – who retired from the WTA Tour following the Australian Open – came through both her Group 3 matches and Sorana Cirstea tops Group 2.

World number two Rafael Nadal said he is "very pessimistic" about tennis returning amid 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 206,990 people globally.

Nadal – who reached the Australian Open quarter-finals this year – last took to the court when he won the Mexican Open in February and the 19-time grand slam champion is not optimistic about playing again soon.

"From my point of view, I'm very pessimistic that the circuit can resume a normal activity," Nadal said in a virtual chat via the Royal Spanish Tennis Federation (RFET).

"In tennis, you need to travel every week, stay in hotels, go to different countries. Even if we play without an audience, to organise any event you need a lot of people involved, which cannot be ignored. At an international level I see a serious problem."

Nadal, 33, added: "We have had a very tough month and a half, with many irreparable losses as well as others that are less important that will still bring great suffering to society, I hope only for a few months, at the economic level.

"Many people are going to lose their jobs. These are sad moments when you see so many people dying."

Australian Open finalist Dominic Thiem has poured scorn on plans for a tennis coronavirus relief fund by saying he will only help out people "that really need it".

World number three Thiem doubts any tennis players will be truly suffering from the break in competition, and said there are competitors down the rankings who lack commitment.

Handouts are likely to be directed to those outside the top 250 on the men's tour, with the fund to be managed by the ATP and WTA, which run the men's and women's tours.

The plan was first revealed by Novak Djokovic, the ATP player council president and world number one.

It has been backed by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, with leading players urged to pay more into the pot than those lower down the rankings, with the aim of building a multi-million dollar fund.

The professional tennis tours, including those at a low level, are on hold until mid-July at the earliest, with Wimbledon cancelled and the French Open postponed until a late-September start.

But Austrian Thiem does not like the idea of giving up his own money, telling the Kronen Zeitung newspaper: "I know the Futures Tour and played there for two years. There are a lot of people who don't give everything to sport.

"I don't see why I should give money to such people. I would prefer to donate to people or institutions that really need it."

Thiem, 26, who has career on-court earnings approaching $24million, added: "None of us top people got it as a gift. We had to fight our way up.

"I'm not guaranteed in any profession to make a lot of money at some point.

"No tennis players are fighting for survival, not even the ones down below. Nobody has to starve."

ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi says tennis could be transformed by the improved relationships that have sprung from the coronavirus crisis.

Gaudenzi was speaking in the wake of Roger Federer suggesting a merger between the ATP and WTA, which respectively run the men's and women's tours, would bolster the game.

While former tour pro Gaudenzi gave away nothing in that respect, he believes all parties, including the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and the grand slams, can learn from recent experiences.

Gaudenzi said: "Managing the current scenario is extremely complex, especially because of the nature of our calendar, the nature of our business.

"But I'm optimistic in general, by nature, and I try to see the positive side which has been a tremendous collaboration with the other grand slams and the WTA and the ITF.

"So all the bodies coming together and discussing the calendar, the way forward, player relief, and many, many other topics.

"So that could be the positive outcome of this, that finally the governing bodies of tennis and the grand slams get together and work collaboratively on the long-term future of the sport."

Federer spoke out on Wednesday, to a mixed response.

The 20-time grand slam winner said of a possible merger: "It probably should have happened a long time ago, but maybe now is really the time."

Writing on Twitter, Federer added: "These are tough times in every sport and we can come out of this with 2 weakened bodies or 1 stronger body."

The tennis tours are on hold until mid-July at the earliest, with the French Open having been moved to a September start and Wimbledon cancelled.

Jan-Lennard Struff backed Novak Djokovic's idea to start a fund to support lower-ranked players amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Djokovic revealed earlier this month he had spoken to Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal about a relief fund that would see up to $4.5million distributed to lower-ranked players with the ATP Tour suspended until at least July 13.

Struff, the world number 34, backed the plan and said it was important that ATP Player Council president Djokovic had led the way.

"You have to look at [it] from two sides. Of course, I have no income, but I have managed to play well in the last few years and have been able to put some money aside. I think it's a good idea," the German told Stats Perform.

"I think it's very important that the initiative comes from Novak Djokovic. It shows that he wants to take care of other players as well. I think that's very important because it's very important for tennis in general.

"I would like to support this, of course. Many players will have problems because they have no income in this area.

"But I would go one step further and say that from the 100 or 150 rankings onwards, players will have problems and, of course, need this support."

Wimbledon was cancelled for the first time since World War II, while the French Open has been pushed back to begin in September.

But Struff, who reached the fourth round at Roland Garros last year, questioned whether the French Open – and even US Open – would go ahead.

"I have very big doubts whether the French Open and the US Open can take place. I don't know how long the travel restrictions will last. I just find it very difficult," said Struff, who turned 30 on Saturday.

"It also has to be fair that every player from every nation is allowed to fly to every country and I just don't think that's guaranteed. There will be tournaments on a national level. Internationally, I find it very difficult.

"Wimbledon has, of course, cancelled the tournament early. This is the only tournament that has insurance for this.

"Other tournaments want to be played later in the year and keep their tournament, which is completely understandable, but I doubt that these will take place."

There have been more than 2.8 million confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide, with the death toll exceeding 197,000.

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