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‘We play for the public’ – ATP stars strongly against locking out spectators due to coronavirus outbreak

Tennis stars on the ATP Tour are united in a desire to avoid playing matches behind closed doors due to the coronavirus crisis, says Fabio Fognini.

Wimbledon became the latest, and highest profile, tournament to be cancelled as the world wrestles to contain the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

The US Open and rescheduled French Open, both due to take place in September are both currently planning on going ahead, but no one knows yet whether or not that will be possible.

At some point, the ATP may have to start considering alternative options, one of which is to continue the Tour but not allow any spectators into the Stadiums.

Fognini, though, does not believe there is any appetite for that among the players.

“I heard from so many people when the ATP had to decide what to do.

“Feliciano Lopez, who is also the director of the Madrid tournament, Stan Wawrinka, Grigor Dimitrov – we were all on the same wavelength, nobody wanted to play.

“Not even behind closed doors. Because sponsors matter a lot but we play for the public and it is the spectators who hold the tournaments.

“With empty stands, I played the Davis Cup in Cagliari and it was very sad.”

Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.