The ATP has managed to keep the Tour functioning throughout the worldwide virus crisis, with CEO Andrea Gaudenzi not hiding his pleasure at the massive accomplishment.
The former Italian player told of his satisfaction in getting tennis back up and running in August after a four-month virus lockdown.
“If I think about the situation we were in and the challenge for our sport, I think we did a good job,” Gaudenzi told Le Figaro in Paris during the Bercy Masters.
“Nobody could have imagined what was going to happen around the world. We encountered an absolutely new situation.”
The 47-year-old added: ‘We were forced to draw up a protocol for COVID, create a fund to support the players and improvise a new calendar (during) the health crisis.
“The schedule has not been perfect, the players have not yet received all the compensation, but the London Finals will be held regularly (from Sunday) and we have managed to save a good part of the season.”
It’s the deep hit to the financial health of tournaments that preys most on London-based Gaudenzi’s mind.
“The priority is that the tournaments can take place, it’s complex because they have already lost a lot of money – and it will be even worse if the pandemic continues for a second year.
“2021 will be just as tough. We have to stay positive. We have a solid foundation.”
The tennis boss heralded the staging of both the US and French Opens, without fans for the first and with a limit of 1,000 per day for the second.
“The fact that the US Open and Roland Garros have been played has allowed the tennis economy to function, to help smaller tournaments and players to make a living from their work.
“We work to ensure that most of the tournaments can be held safely. We hope to have more spectators in the stands but it is not up to us .”