The uncertainties that surround the United States, about the coronavirus, ended up forcing the organizers to cancel the first big tournament of the hard court season in the North American season. US Open might be the next.
ATP POSTPONES THE RETURN OF TENNIS AND CANCELS TOURNAMENT IN WASHINGTON
What was a rumour in the past week became a harsh reality for tennis fans. The ATP (Association of Professional Tennis players), announced this Tuesday, July 21st, that the first tournament of the tennis circuit in the United States will be cancelled.
The ATP 500 in Washington would finally mark the return of professional male tennis, that was stopped since March, was cancelled. According to the ATP, on an official note, there were uncertainties regarding the safety of the event, due to the coronavirus pandemic in the United States.
The Citi Open, that would mark the return of world tennis, became an unfulfilled dream and it opens up opportunities for questioning the possibility of tennis really being able to return this season.
Andrea Gaudenzi, ATP’s president stated this Tuesday: “It’s disappointing that upon these unprecedented times the Citi Open won’t be able to go ahead this year”.
US OPEN MIGHT BE THE NEXT TO BE CANCELLED
The Washington ATP had a very important role for the tennis circuit. Since we’ve had several months of paralysation, and the tennis players still didn’t have the opportunity of taking part on a great tournament, it becomes even harder to make the execution of a great event viable.
The success of the Citi Open would have a direct consequence for the big tennis event of the country, which is the US Open. It would show that yes, it was possible to organize a great event, following the protocols demanded by the WHO, and the ATP.
The significant increase on the COVID-19 cases, in California, Texas and Florida, rang the alarm alongside the authorities, that didn’t think twice about cancelling the tournament that restarted the season. Washington would be a preparation tournament that was extremely important for the scenario of world tennis.
The US Open will take place in New York, a centre that has already been heavily affected by the disease, and that still worries the organizers. Besides the US Open, the Masters 1000 in Cincinnati also struggles with questions for its execution.
The ATP was worried to inform that they’re still working so the US Open, scheduled for August 20th, in New York, which means it’s still open.
The ATP is in contact with the USTA (United States Tennis Association), to maintain the protocols, and not take the risk of happening like in Washington.
The problem is that the conditions to make such a big event will depend on the advance (or not) of the disease in the locations near New York.
What we saw was that the organizers have no problems in cancelling the tournaments and they will not do like in other sports, that even with the advance of the COVID, maintained ready to play.
A “BUBBLE” WILL BE CREATED IN NEW YORK
According to the New York Times, a respectable newspaper from New York, the Grand Slam might be played, if the “bubble” that was scheduled for the event isn’t breached.
A great recent example happened on the female sport, where the tennis player Danielle Collins, currently ranked 51st in the world was kicked from the exhibition tournament World Team Tennis, traditional event that takes place in the summer in the United States.
According to the organization, Collins broke the COVID-19 protocols and left the Greenbrier Resort, and also the West Virginia state, where the WTT is taking place this year.
The ATP should follow this example and not accept that tennis players break their protocol, putting at risk one of the most important tournaments of the worldwide circuit.
Collins’ example was basically a warning, to all of those who put themselves at risk, as well as their colleagues and an entire structure that was built for a big event.
The US Open director, Stacey Allaster, said to The New York Times, that the cancellation in Washington doesn’t affect the organization of the Grand Slam in New York at all. Precisely because of the conditions that the city of New York will offer to everyone involved at the event.
Now all we need to know is if the strictness seen on the organization of the female tournament will be repeated in the male one, even with so many big-name players who are registered on it.
The organization and especially safety should be above everyone, so that the same thing doesn’t happen in Washington. The future of tennis is at stake and it seems like it is crumbling apart, which means it’s impossible to be too cautious.