The ATP’s well-touted re-opening suffered a blow on Tuesday, with officials cancelling next month’s Washington event due to COVID-19.

The move does not bode well for either the Cincinnati Masters or the US Open, both due to be played behind closed doors in a “health bubble” atmosphere in New York consecutively from late August into September.

The USTA quickly distanced itself from the cancellation:

“This decision in no way impacts the US Open (or Cincinnati to be played in New York),” a statement read.

“The USTA will create a safe and controlled environment for players and everyone else  involved in both tournaments that mitigates health risks that was approved by the State of New York and also conforms to the standards put forth by New York City and the federal government.”

Tennis has been shut down for nearly five months, with any return in the virus-hammered US looking more bleak by the day in the country that leads the world league table with more than 140,000 deaths.

“With continued uncertainties affecting the ability to meet key event planning deadlines, the decision has been made to cancel the event,” the sanctioning body said in a statement.

Plans for Cincinnati and the Open remain so far unchanged, though nothing is guaranteed.

Any play in the US will be complicated by players subsequently facing a two-week quarantine upon return to Europe.

That kind of timing will just not work with the rescheduled Madrid and Rome events to be played and the French Open now starting on September 27.

“It’s disappointing that due to these unprecedented times, the Citi Open will not be able to go ahead this year,” said ATP boss Andrea Gaudenzi.

“Unfortunately for the moment there are still large factors at play which are outside of our control. We look forward to the tournament returning as one of our signature American events in 2021.”
Officials cited “too many unresolved external issues, including various international travel restrictions as well as troubling health and safety trends” in making the call.

Despite the setback, the ATP is expected to release a rump tournament calendar for what might remain for the aborted 2020 season. That will likely come before the end of the month, officials said.

Main photo:- Nick Kyrgios winner of Washintgon 2019


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