Roger Federer says he is "devastated" while Simona Halep was left feeling "so sad" following the decision to cancel Wimbledon.

Organisers announced on Wednesday that the 2020 tournament will not take place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The ATP and WTA Tours have also been further suspended, with top-level tennis now not expected to resume until at least July 13.

Federer, who has won a record eight Wimbledon men's singles titles, had been planning to return to action in time for Wimbledon and the Olympic Games after undergoing knee surgery.

With both events now not taking place in 2020, the Swiss great tweeted to say he was "devastated" alongside a gif displaying the text 'There is no gif for these things that I am feeling'.

Reigning women's champion Halep was disappointed at missing out on the chance to defend her title this year, writing on Twitter: "So sad to hear Wimbledon won't take place this year.

"Last year's final will forever be one of the happiest days of my life! But we are going through something bigger than tennis and Wimbledon will be back! And it means I have even longer to look forward to defending my title."

Angelique Kerber, the 2018 champion, was left saddened to not only see Wimbledon and the Olympics called off but also the grass-court season as a whole.

"It goes without saying that I'm heavy hearted that the cancellation of the grass-court season also means that I won't be able to play in front of my home crowd in Bad Hamburg and Berlin..." she said.

"It's disappointing for me but also for all those who put their heart and soul into these events and for the fans who love our sport and support us players all year round.

"But I also know very well that there are more important things that we have to focus on right now and that professional sports have to take a step back for a while."

Rising American star Coco Gauff tweeted she would miss playing at the All England Club, while Petra Kvitova, winner in 2011 and 2014, said it was "definitely a tough one to take".

"Not only is it a special tournament to me, but it's a tournament that has been part of history for so long that it will leave a big hole in the calendar," Kvitova said.

"I will miss playing on the beautiful grass and wearing my whites, BUT of course we know it will be back better than ever next year. And maybe we will all appreciate it even more!"

In a message shared by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), Milos Raonic insisted the decision was "the right thing we have to do with everything that's going on around the world right now".

Marin Cilic, finalist in 2017, added: "Enjoy yourself at home. Now is the time to do some things that you don't have so much time to do when you're not at home."

US Open chiefs were taking stock of Wimbledon's cancellation on Wednesday but remained hopeful their grand slam would go ahead.

The coronavirus pandemic made it unrealistic to continue with planning for Wimbledon, which was due to begin on June 29 and run for two weeks.

However, the US Open is not due to get under way until August 24, and there is optimism that the Flushing Meadows event may still go ahead on schedule.

Its host city, New York, is being severely affected by the COVID-19 crisis, yet United States Tennis Association (USTA) officials are not rushing to abandon their major.

In a statement, the USTA said: "We understand the unique circumstances facing the All England Lawn Tennis Club and the reasoning behind the decision to cancel the 2020 Wimbledon Championships.

"At this time the USTA still plans to host the US Open as scheduled, and we continue to hone plans to stage the tournament.

"The USTA is carefully monitoring the rapidly-changing environment surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, and is preparing for all contingencies.

"We also rely on the USTA's medical advisory group as well as governmental and security officials to ensure that we have the broadest understanding of this fluid situation.

"In all instances, all decisions made by the USTA regarding the US Open will be made with the health and wellbeing of our players, fans, and all others involved in the tournament."

Rafael Nadal and Bianca Andreescu are the reigning US Open singles champions.

Wimbledon has been cancelled by the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision taken on Wednesday means the tournament will not go ahead for the first time since World War II.

The grass-court grand slam had been due to begin in London on June 29.

With the spread of COVID-19 putting sport across the globe on hold, the French Open - originally scheduled for May - has already been moved back to September.

An AELTC statement said the 134th Championships will now take place from June 28 July 11, 2021 instead.

Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep, the respective men's and women's singles victors last year, will consequently be defending champions for another 12 months.

Ian Hewitt, AELTC chairman, said: "This is a decision that we have not taken lightly, and we have done so with the highest regard for public health and the wellbeing of all those who come together to make Wimbledon happen.

"It has weighed heavily on our minds that the staging of The Championships has only been interrupted previously by World Wars but, following thorough and extensive consideration of all scenarios, we believe that it is a measure of this global crisis that it is ultimately the right decision to cancel this year's Championships, and instead concentrate on how we can use the breadth of Wimbledon's resources to help those in our local communities and beyond.

"Our thoughts are with all those who have been and continue to be affected by these unprecedented times."

The AELTC said the decision was taken to "protect the large numbers of people required to prepare the Championships from being at risk".

Richard Lewis, AELTC chief executive, added: "While in some ways this has been a challenging decision, we strongly believe it is not only in the best interests of society at this time, but also provides certainty to our colleagues in international tennis given the impact on the grass court events in the UK and in Europe and the broader tennis calendar."

Both the ATP and WTA followed the announcement by confirming the suspensions of the respective Tours will be extended until at least July 13, but US Open organisers plan to stage the tournament as scheduled as it stands.

Tennis, like every sport, has seen its calendar decimated by the COVID-19 outbreak, with the clay-court season completely wiped out and the Olympic Games having been postponed last week.

The decision to move the French Open back to September, after the US Open, sparked a backlash after ATP Tour Council member Vasek Pospisil said organisers had not consulted with players.

Wimbledon has been called off, a brutal blow to sport lovers, and its cancellation sends effects rippling through tennis.

The reality that Centre Court will lie empty through June and July will be a bitter pill to swallow not only for those with dreams of playing there for the first time, but to those who see it as a second home.

Superstars including Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Simona Halep and Serena Williams will feel its loss to the calendar.

Here is a look at those who may be hardest hit by the loss from the calendar of a flagship grand slam.

Serena Williams

It seemed inevitable at one stage that Williams would catch and then pass Margaret Court's record haul of 24 grand slam singles titles, but she remains infuriatingly stuck on 23 majors, and the American all-time great will be 39 years old by the time she next gets the chance to challenge at Wimbledon.

The seven-time Wimbledon champion last reigned in SW19 in 2016, and her last singles slam came at the following year's Australian Open. Agonisingly, the prospect of Williams winning another slam has been immensely hit by this lay-off. Few can handle her grass-court game.

What too of sister Venus? The five-time Wimbledon singles queen will be 41 by the time next year's Wimbledon rolls around. Has she played her last match on grass?

Roger Federer

Federer gave himself an enormous chance in last year's Wimbledon final, when he failed to take two championship points against Novak Djokovic. It left him bereft in the aftermath, but this year Federer may have been able to feed off the knowledge he had been a whisker away, and another run deep into the second week was a realistic target for the eight-time champion.

It seems unimaginable Federer might have played his final match at Wimbledon - surely he will give 2021 a shot - but hopes of adding to his 20 slams have taken a clear hit. Like Williams, he will be 39 - and pushing 40 - by the time of next year's grass-court season.

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal

Snapping at the heels of Federer are Djokovic and Nadal, with both men bidding to leapfrog him atop the list of all-time men's slam champions: Serbian Djokovic is three behind Federer on 17, and Nadal is just one adrift of the Swiss.

Losing Wimbledon, and having no certainty the US Open and French Open will take place later in the year, may ultimately end up hurting Djokovic and Nadal more than Federer. Djokovic turns 33 in May, Nadal will be 34 in June, and it is important to remember Federer's longevity is a rare thing in tennis.

With a young generation emerging, missing out on majors and momentum at this stage of their stellar careers may make it difficult for Djokovic and Nadal to rediscover their dominant best when tennis returns. Federer's haul - a record for the men's game - may yet beyond the reach of his two greatest rivals.

Andy Murray

Two-time champion Murray made an emotional return to Wimbledon last year when he played doubles - partnering Serena Williams in the mixed. Injury had ruled the Scot out of the 2018 tournament and threatened his career, but Murray was targeting a singles slam comeback in 2020 and to have that rug pulled from beneath him is a cruel blow.

He also turns 33 in May, and Murray has already toyed with retirement. He would be forgiven for questioning whether putting himself through another year of hard graft to remain competitive is worth the physical toll.

Former United States Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe revealed he is feeling back at 100 per cent after testing positive for coronavirus.

McEnroe on Tuesday posted a video on Twitter from the basement of his house, where he retreated to 11 days ago suffering from minor COVID-19 symptoms.

The broadcaster confirmed he contracted the virus, but says he has been able to fight through it and now feels perfectly fine.

He said: "Hey everybody, I'm still down here in my basement. I've been here for 11 days. I got some minor symptoms about 10 or 11 days ago.

"My test came back positive, I just got it this morning. I went to the drive-through here in Westchester County through New York State, it was very well organised, very safe and obviously I got the test back very quickly.

"It did come back positive, that's the bad news. The good news is I feel fine, my symptoms have passed, I feel really 100 per cent. My wife Melissa is doing an unbelievable job taking care of the house, taking care of the kids and myself.

"We've been on full quarantine, our entire household, for well over two weeks now. I'd encourage everyone to do the same, let's get this thing, let's nail this thing.

"I'm an example of someone that's been able to fight through it and I'm doing absolutely fine. Thoughts and prayers to all those people who are struggling with this, we got to do our part, we got to stay listen and we got to stay home."

Reports in the UK this week suggested there is growing support to void the current Premier League season amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Additionally, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin admitted the 2019-20 campaign might have to be scrubbed from the records, after Euro 2020 was moved back 12 months.

Although the likes of runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool would understandably despair at such a prospect, there are other clubs enjoying seasons to forget who might enjoy the escape clause.

With that in mind, we took a look back at the teams and individuals who might like to expunge an ignominious season or period of time from history.

 

MANCHESTER UNITED 2013-14

The seven years since Alex Ferguson's retirement have not exactly gone swimmingly for United, but that ill-fated first season remains the real low point. 

David Moyes lasted just 10 months as Ferguson's replacement as the reigning Premier League champions finished seventh in 2013-14, suffering truly humiliating defeats to top two Manchester City and Liverpool along the way. A wretched 2-0 loss at Moyes' former club Everton proved the final straw.

At least they won the Community Shield in August 2013. 

NOVAK DJOKOVIC 2017

When Novak Djokovic defeated familiar foe Andy Murray to win the 2016 French Open, the modern-day legend was in possession of all of tennis' grand slams. The question was, who can stop this man? Well, the answer was actually himself.

A round-three exit at Wimbledon followed a month later and, although he reached the US Open final that year, a barren 2017 followed. Djokovic did not go beyond the quarters at any slam that year and reached just one final at the Italian Open, which he lost. Djokovic rediscovered the winning habit in slams at Wimbledon in 2018, beginning a run of five triumphs in the past seven at tennis' big events.

DETROIT LIONS – 2008

The Lions secured an unwanted place in history when they became the first NFL team in the 16-game season era to go 0-16. They went 7-9 in 2007 and were then undefeated in preaseason, meaning few would have thought a historically bad campaign was on the cards.

Detroit started three QBs over the course of the campaign - Jon Kitna, Dan Orlovsky and Daunte Culpepper - all of whom struggled with form and injuries despite the presence of star receiver Calvin Johnson, but worst of all was their woeful defense, which gave up 517 points.

Team president and CEO Matt Millen was fired after four weeks, while head coach Rod Marinelli was shown the door at the end of the season and has not led a team since.

TIGER WOODS - 2014-2017

Tiger Woods' standing as one the greatest, if not the greatest, golfer of all time is in no doubt. By the end of 2013, Woods was standing again atop the world rankings after winning five times during the year, earning the prestigious PGA Tour Player of the Year award. 

It would take five years for Woods to win again as the American great endured a horrendous time with debilitating back injuries and loss of form. At one stage it looked as though he may have to retire and his world ranking had plummeted to a scarcely credible 1,199th in December 2017. But just a year ago Woods was back in major-winning form as, at the age of 43, he became Masters champion for a fifth time.

BARCELONA 2002-03

Years of drift since the 1999 LaLiga title came to a head in 2002-03, as Barcelona endured a miserable season that saw Louis van Gaal sacked as coach and led to the departure of president Joan Gaspart. 

Barca ended up sixth in the league – their worst finish in 15 years – as the Real Madrid Galacticos ruled. They also exited the Copa del Rey in the first round and lost in the Champions League quarter-finals. 

After that season, in came Joan Laporta as president, Frank Rijkaard as head coach, and a certain Brazilian called Ronaldinho. And things got a bit better. 

ENGLAND – 2013-14 ASHES

England made it three Ashes victories in a row with a 3-0 home triumph in 2013 – the first time they had enjoyed such a run of success against old enemies Australia since 1977-1981. However, a rejig of the international cricketing schedule meant a swift return Down Under. The Mitchell Johnson-inspired hosts exacted brutal vengeance on their way to a 5-0 whitewash as a great England team fell to pieces.

Off-spinner Graeme Swann retired mid-series and Kevin Pietersen's tempestuous exit from the international stage was set in motion, while Andy Flower – the head coach he despised – stepped down. Of the XI that started the concluding 281-run loss in Sydney, Pietersen, Michael Carberry and debutants Scott Borthwick and Boyd Rankin would never play red ball cricket for England again.

REAL MADRID 2008-09

In Spanish football's great rivalry, Real Madrid or Barcelona doing well is only half the deal. Success is truly sweet if the other half of El Clasico's enduring grudge are having a tough time. Madrid won LaLiga in 2007-08, with Barca a distant fourth as the Rijkaard-Ronaldinho era disintegrated under the weight of its own excess.

However, the tables flipped spectacularly next time around – Barca stormed to an unprecedented treble under rookie coach Pep Guardiola, Lionel Messi leaped from exceptional talent to generational superstar as Madrid were walloped 6-2 by their sworn foes at the Santiago Bernabeu and a dynasty was born.

Madrid finished a distant second, were thrashed 5-0 on aggregate by Liverpool in the Champions League last-16 and coach Juande Ramos followed predecessor Bernd Schuster out of the exit door.

PAULA RADCLIFFE – 2004 OLYMPICS

After setting a new world record in London in 2003 and having won the 2004 race in New York, Radcliffe was favourite for marathon gold at the 2004 Olympics. 

However, after struggling badly to continue, Radcliffe withdrew 23 miles in and was taken for a medical check-up. She later competed in the 10,000 metres but again retired.  In a tearful appearance on British TV, Radcliffe refused to blame the heat and humidity in Athens and admitted she was "desperately trying to find a reason for what happened". 

A year later, she was back winning and breaking the world record at the London marathon - despite a brief toilet break by the side of the road - before taking gold at the World Championships in Helsinki.

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS 2019-2020

After a fifth straight NBA Finals appearance in 2019, things went rapidly downhill for the Golden State Warriors. All-Star duo Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins left in free agency, while 'Splash Brothers' Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have been out injured – the latter is yet to play this season. 

The Warriors sit bottom of the Western Conference and have the worst overall record in the NBA at 15-50. An improved chance of getting the first pick in the 2020 draft is their only solace.

MANNY PACQUIAO 2012

After losing to Erik Morales in 2005, Manny Pacquiao went on sensational 15-fight winning streak that established him as an unprecedented seven-division world champion. The Morales loss was twice avenged via stoppage, with the likes of Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto similarly dispatched. A mega-fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr awaited, only for the wheels to fall off in 2012.

Timothy Bradley halted Pacquiao's streak when he was – somewhat farcically – awarded a split-decision verdict over the Filipino great. Juan Manuel Marquez knew all about scorecard controversy from his previous three meetings with Pacquiao and duly took them out of the equation, chillingly leaving his rival face down and motionless on the Las Vegas canvas that December. The Mayweather bout had to wait until 2015, but that is one of only two losses suffered since by Pacquiao, who reigns as WBA welterweight champion at 41.

CHELSEA 2015-16

Chelsea won the Premier League title in 2014-15 and 2016-17. What came in between was nothing short of a complete shambles. Jose Mourinho had returned for a second spell in charge and collected a third winners' medal in England's top flight but the Portuguese's famously abrasive tendencies then appeared to wear his players down at an alarming rate.

Beginning with the 2-2 draw against Swansea City that ignited Mourinho's sapping spat with club doctor Eva Carneiro, Chelsea won only one of their opening five Premier League fixtures. That form was far from a blip and they were 16th when Mourinho was sacked in the wake of a 2-1 December loss to would-be champions Leicester City. Caretaker boss Guus Hiddink restored a modicum of respectability with a 10th-place finish before Antonio Conte arrived and the Stamford Bridge faithful were soon wondering if it had all just been a bad dream.

SERENA WILLIAMS 2006

Williams started the year by losing her Australian Open crown with a third-round exit to Daniele Hantuchova, before injuries forced her to miss tournaments in Tokyo and Dubai. Come April, she had dropped out of the WTA top 100 for the first time since November 1997, and it came as little surprise that she competed at neither the French Open nor Wimbledon. 

After a fourth-round exit at the US Open, Williams ended a title-less year 95th in the world. It meant she returned to the Australian Open in January 2007 as an unseeded player. She won it. 

The world of sport has ground to a halt thanks to the coronavirus pandemic that been holding the world hostage for the past few weeks. Some of my favourites – the English Premier League, tennis, track and field – have all been hamstrung.

My Liverpool faces the real possibility that their record-breaking Premier League season could be wiped from the record books and I will not get to see Shelly-Ann go for a record third Olympic 100m gold until next year, yet, somehow, I am not as perturbed as I expected to be.

Sports have been a part of my life from as far back as I can remember.  Ever since my days in prep school, I looked forward to listening to the sports news on radio and later on catching sports programmes like ‘ABC Wide World of Sports’ on television -“the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat” rang truer for me than most.

I represented my high school at track and field, cricket, football, table tennis and badminton and I faced the agony of defeat more than I did the thrill of victory. Through it all, my love for sport has grown rather than diminished.

I cried when Donald Quarrie lost the 100m finals in Montreal in ’76 and cheered when he won the 200m. That was my first year in high school when I played book cricket and lined Quarrie up against Houston McTear, Steve Williams, Silvio Leonard, and Hasely Crawford in the 100m in book track.

Meanwhile, Kevin Keegan, Steve Heighway, Kenny Dalglish and Ian Rush were my football heroes, alongside Pele, of course.

West Indies cricket also became a big part of my life during those early high-school years and I became addicted. When the West Indies were not playing, no matter what else was going on, it was never enough to sate my desire to hear Tony Cozier and Henry Blofeld describe the majesty of Richards, Haynes, Greenidge and company and the carnage wrought by the likes of Holding, Roberts, Croft, Garner and Marshall.

Sports consumed my life more than anything else and looking back, I wonder why I even attended CAST to study Chemical Technology when sports was all I cared about.

Long story short, sports was my life and sometimes that can be a bad thing.

There is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

For the past decade or so, sports consumed my life more than usual. Research, watching events, analysing performances, television appearances, radio interviews across the region took their toll.

The thing about these things is that you don’t even realise what is happening until something like this pandemic comes along. Suddenly when all the sports stop, you realise the relief.

That is why I don’t miss sports.

I have been using the opportunity to play catch up with other parts of my life like bonding with my boys, reading books that I started but have been unable to finish and taking a break from live sports until they finally start again.

In time, I will miss sports but for now, I’m good.

Wimbledon will be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to German Tennis Federation (DTB) vice-president Dirk Hordorff.

The grand slam is scheduled to begin in London on June 29 but may not be held for the first time since 1945, when there was no event due to World War II.

A decision on the tournament is expected in the coming week and Hordorff said Wimbledon officials would cancel the event.

"Wimbledon has stated that they will have a board meeting next Wednesday and will make the final decision there," he told Sky Sport on Sunday.

"I am also involved in the bodies of the ATP and WTA. The necessary decisions have already been made there and Wimbledon will decide to cancel next Wednesday. There is no doubt about it. This is necessary in the current situation.

"It is completely unrealistic to imagine that with the travel restrictions that we currently have an international tennis tournament, where hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world would travel. That is unthinkable."

The French Open, which was due to start in May, has already been postponed until later in the year and it remains uncertain when the ATP and WTA Tour seasons will resume.

Hordorff said it was difficult to push back Wimbledon, while adding the financial impact of a cancellation should not be too greatly felt.

"Wimbledon has its own laws due to the lawn and the special lighting conditions. Wimbledon was probably the only grand slam tournament many years ago predictive enough to insure itself against a worldwide pandemic, so that the financial damage should be minimised there," he said.

"Of course, Wimbledon also has enough reserves to last for several years. Wimbledon in the period September, October, when no-one knows whether you can play, would be unthinkable due to the lawn situation."

Naomi Osaka has given her "100 per cent" backing to the postponement of Tokyo 2020 and says the "Olympic spirit" is needed to combat coronavirus.

The upcoming Olympic Games were pushed back from 2020 to 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic that has resulted in close to 30,000 deaths worldwide, with more than 645,000 confirmed cases.

The decision was widely welcomed earlier this week, and tennis star Osaka is also on board, even if it means a delay to her hopes of turning out at a home Olympics.

The Japanese two-time grand slam champion wrote on her Instagram page: "I've been thinking about how to articulate my thoughts on this for a couple of days now, so here goes.

"Everyone knows how much the Olympics means to me and how proud I will be to participate in my home country.

"Of course, I am disappointed that it won't happen this year, but we'll all be ready to go stronger than ever in 2021!

"I support prime minister [Shinzo] Abe's brave decision and the IOC [International Olympic Committee] 100 per cent. Sport will eventually unite us again and be there for us always, but that time is not now.

Novak Djokovic and wife Jelena are donating €1million for medical equipment amid the coronavirus pandemic, the tennis star has revealed.

The ATP Tour season has been suspended until June as the sport attempts to slow the spread of the virus.

With the clay-court season wiped out, the French Open has been moved to September, while an emergency meeting has been organised for next week to discuss Wimbledon's status.

In the meantime, Australian Open and All England Club champion Djokovic has put together a package to help the fight, with over 550,000 confirmed global cases and more than 25,000 deaths to date.

"I wish to express my gratitude to all the medical staff across the world and in my native Serbia for helping everyone infected by coronavirus," the 17-time grand slam champion told a video conference.

"Unfortunately, more and more people are getting infected every day.

"My wife Jelena and I are putting together a plan how to best donate our resources to people in need. Our donation is €1m for the purchase of ventilators and other medical equipment."

Djokovic last week posted on Twitter urging fans to "help our Mother Earth heal quickly".

Responding to the postponement of Tokyo 2020, he added: "I’m sad the @olympics are postponed, but I am sure it‘s the right decision for the collective health of everyone involved. Let’s look forward to Tokyo #Olympics 2021."

The Serbian is unbeaten in 2020, winning the ATP Cup, followed by the Melbourne major and then the Dubai Tennis Championships.

Wimbledon management will hold an emergency meeting next week to decide if this year's tournament will go ahead.

The All England Club is due to stage the grand slam from June 29, but the event is in doubt due to the ongoing global coronavirus crisis that has decimated the sporting calendar.

Both the ATP and WTA tours are cancelled until June 8 at the earliest, while Roland Garros officials opted to shift the French Open from May to September.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the All England Club (AELTC) revealed it has been looking into contingency options for Wimbledon since January, working closely throughout with the UK Government and public health authorities.

Organisers will convene to decide what steps to take, with postponement and cancellation expected to be discussed, but they have formally ruled out playing behind closed doors.

AELTC chief executive Richard Lewis said: "The unprecedented challenge presented by the COVID-19 crisis continues to affect our way of life in ways that we could not have imagined, and our thoughts are with all those affected in the UK and around the world.

"The single most important consideration is one of public health, and we are determined to act responsibly through the decisions we make.

"We are working hard to bring certainty to our plans for 2020 and have convened an emergency meeting of the AELTC main board for next week, at which a decision will be made."

Roger Federer has pledged to donate one million Swiss francs to help the most vulnerable families in his homeland during the coronavirus pandemic.

The 20-time grand slam champion said the donation he and his wife Mirka made is "just a start" and urged others to help those most in need during the COVID-19 crisis.

Switzerland has 10,456 confirmed cases of the virus, with 145 people having died.

In a typically classy post, Federer wrote on Instagram post: "These are challenging times for everyone and nobody should be left behind. 

"Mirka and I have personally decided to donate one million Swiss Francs for the most vulnerable families in Switzerland. 

"Our contribution is just a start. We hope that others might join in supporting more families in need. Together we can overcome this crisis! Stay healthy!"

The ATP Tour has cancelled all tennis through to June 7, wiping out the clay-court season.

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."

Michael Jordan stunned the world with two simple words 25 years ago.

In an era before innovative social media announcements were the norm, Jordan released a statement through his management company "in response to questions about his future career plans" on March 18, 1995.

His response of "I'm back" signalled the return to basketball of one of the all-time greats.

Here, to mark the anniversary of that press release being issued, we look at Jordan and other greats who performed retirement U-turns.

 

MICHAEL JORDAN

Whether you are an ardent NBA fan or have simply seen Space Jam, you know the story. Chicago Bulls star Jordan retired in 1993 after his team three-peated and shortly after his father's death, stating that "the desire is just not there any more".

For the next year, Jordan turned to baseball as a minor league player as he pursued a dream his father had of his son making it in the MLB. Then, amid rumours he was heading back to the NBA, came that Jordan utterance: "I'm back". 

The Bulls, led by perhaps the greatest ever, would win three successive championships again between 1996 and 1998 at which point Jordan retired once more. He then came back for a two-year stint with the Washington Wizards before finally calling it a day once and for all in 2003.

 

MICHAEL SCHUMACHER

Seven-time Formula One champion Schumacher was 37 when he announced the 2006 season - when he was pipped to the title by Fernando Alonso - would be his last.

However, he remained around F1 as an advisor for Ferrari and returned for Mercedes to race in 2010 saying: "I have the energy back."

He would appear on the podium just once across three seasons, though, and he retired again in 2012, a year before he suffered severe head injuries in a skiing accident.

 

KIM CLIJSTERS

A former world number one and the 2005 US Open champion, Clijsters retired at the age of 23 due to a series of punishing injuries.

Clijsters got married and gave birth in her time away from sport, and then after appearing in an exhibition match held at Wimbledon in 2009, the Belgian returned to the WTA Tour. In just her third tournament back, Clijsters won the US Open, becoming the first unseeded woman to win the tournament in the Open era and the first mother to win a grand slam since 1980.

She triumphed at Flushing Meadows again in 2010 and won the Australian Open in 2011, recently returning to tennis for a third time after a seven-year hiatus.

LANCE ARMSTRONG

American Armstrong retired as a seven-time Tour de France champion in 2005. But the story, of course, didn't end there.

Dogged by doping allegations during his career, Armstrong faced questions again when he returned, aged 37, in 2009 and finished third in that year's Tour.

Armstrong retired once more in 2011 while he was the subject of a federal investigation into doping allegations. Another probe from the United States Anti-Doping Agency led to charges which resulted in Armstrong being stripped of his seven Tour titles in 2012, with the cyclist publicly coming clean on his doping the following year.

 

GEORGE FOREMAN

There was a full decade between Foreman's 47th and 48th fights.

He lost on points to Jimmy Young in 1977, falling ill in the dressing room after the bout and suffering what he said was a near-death experience, leading him to find God.

A born-again Christian, Foreman returned at 38. Despite defeats to Evander Holyfield and Tommy Morrison in title bouts, Foreman would become heavyweight champion of the world again in 1994 - at the grand old age of 45 - by stopping Michael Moorer.

BRETT FAVRE

Long-time Green Bay Packers quarterback Favre, the king of indecision, bowed out from the NFL in March 2008, passing the baton to a certain Aaron Rodgers. However, he had a change of heart four months later. The Packers, who wanted to move on with Rodgers, traded Favre to the New York Jets.

After one season with Gang Green, Favre retired again. And then he performed another U-turn, paving the way for him to join the Minnesota Vikings, one of Green Bay's arch-rivals.

He enjoyed by far the best year of his career with the Vikings in terms of quarterback rating (107.2) but Minnesota lost the NFC Championship Game. More indecision followed after that, though 2010 would prove to be the final year of a Hall of Fame career.

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."

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