USTA President Patrick Galbraith on Response to Coronavirus: 'This Has Really Evolved'

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The USTA announced Friday that it would suspend all play through April 20 due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. 

“This has really evolved," USTA president Patrick Galbraith told Sports Illustrated. “This is different than what we were going to do two or three days ago. It’s really a little bit different than what we were thinking a day or so ago."

Galbraith told SI that on a call Friday morning he alerted those in the organization that the USTA was to stop events "immediately."

The decree encompasses adult and junior tournaments, league tennis, junior team tennis, USTA school programs, tennis on campus and USTA pro circuit events. The organization's intent is to reschedule all events for a later date "where possible"—not to fully cancel. 

The USTA will continue to evaluate what to do about events after April 20. 

"The well-being of all our members and all our tennis players is the most important thing," Galbraith said.

The news comes a day after the ATP decided to suspend play for at least six weeks, and four days after organizers for the Indian Wells Masters announced they would cancel the tournament, becoming the first prominent tennis event to do so.

The ITF soon followed, canceling all tournaments, including the Fed Cup finals in Budapest and eight playoff matches at eight different venues. The Miami Open and several other minor tournaments soon announced their cancelations promptly afterward. 

As part of their statement, the USTA announced that the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing—home of the U.S. Open— would remain open to the general public, but limited in how many people can participate at once.